Prometheus Trio feature little-known works 2/14-15

By - Feb 11th, 2011 04:00 am
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The Prometheus Trio –pianist Stefanie Jacob, violinst Timothy Klabunde and cellist Scott Tisdel — returns February 14-15 with a concert introducing two little known composers along with a Dvorak Quartet.

Alfred Schnittke

Alfred Schnittke - Photo by © Dmitri N. Smirnov

A piano trio by Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) is at the center of the concert. Between 1957 and 1996 Schnittke wrote 10 symphonies, 21 concertos and many chamber works. He is acclaimed in Russia as a successor to Shostakovich, but little known in the United States.

Schnittke wrote a String Trio in 1985 that he adapted as a Piano Trio in 1992. The work is a morose, intensely personal piece – perhaps influenced by the experience of a serious stroke. Despite its mood, the work is impressive – sometimes dissonant, often tender and lyrical – in the sense of the best of Shostakovich (although darker).

Franz Berwald

Franz Berwald

Swedish composer, Franz Adolf Berwald (1796–1868), got  little respect from critics while he was living, forcing him into day-jobs that limited his output until later in life. Today he is little known. His works are pleasant, grounded in the mid-romantic period in which he writes. Prometheus will feature his Piano Trio in E-flat major (1851). Pianist Stefanie Jacob describes his writing as quirky; the rules of sonata development are set aside, but the order works, even if not traditional.

Dvorák is certainly a better known composer – his Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 87 is a mature work with the romantic lyricism and classical structure present in most of his works. The trio will add violist Robert Levine for this work.

RobertLevine - MSO Violist

Robert Levine - Principal Violist - Milwaukee Symphony

Levine, the Milwaukee Symphony Principal Violist since 1987, has performed with Prometheus before and in other local chamber settings in past years. (He will also be playing the Baroque viola with Ensemble Musical Offering this spring.)

The intimate setting of the Bader recital hall at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music serves chamber music well. The popularity of Prometheus performances has required two performances  — Monday, February 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 15 at 11:00 a.m. Call 414-276-5760 for tickets. More information here.  The Conservatory is located at 1584 N. Prospect Ave. Valet service is available for $5.

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