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ICP with Paul Neubauer

April 8th, 2017 at 7:30pm

Baruch Performing Arts Center Engelman Recital Hall 55 Lexington Ave at 24th Street New York, NY With guest violist, Paul Neubauer

W.A. Mozart

Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 493

Jean Francaix

String Trio

Richard Strauss

Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 13

Carmit Zori, Violin | Paul Neubauer, Viola | Hillel Zori, Cello | Assaff Weisman, Piano

Program Notes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Piano Quartet in E-flat major, K. 493 (1786)

The “pianoforte”, the world’s very first piano, was conceived and built by Cristofori around 1700. The first piano sonatas appear in print in 1732, the year of his death. But the practical, noteworthy arrival of the piano along with music written specifically for it does not really occur until the mid 1760’s, the same time that this new-fangled instrument was first featured in public concerts. Yet another decade passed before strong evidence of a true compositional style for piano or ensemble works demanding the piano rather than a more “generic” keyboard such as the more common harpsichord. Ultimately, the great first watershed of mature piano music in history falls in the generous middle of the 1780’s including Haydn’s later sonatas and Mozart’s unparalleled piano concertos, the mighty set of 11 works written between 1784 and 1786. Between 1785 and 1786 during this virtual dawn of pianism, Mozart wrote his two piano quartets for an ensemble essentially as new as the piano. But for a few random and now obscure composers before him, Mozart became the first to claim a genre that would captivate composers from Mendelssohn and Schumann onwards. Yet when they were first published, Mozart’s quartets still bore the conservative and market-wise indication for either harpsichord or “fortepiano”, the compound word highlighting its novel feature (e.g. “loud” and “soft”) in a mysterious reversal of its two words from the original name. Mozart’s “piano” quartets are considered the first in the genre not because they are historically the first, but because they are the historically the first great ones. When he wrote them, Mozart was at the zenith of his fame as a performing concert pianist as well as a confirmed master of chamber music. The quartets are superbly balanced chamber works with all the craft and intimacy that implies, but they are also magnificent