Two Great Composers Featured by Rangbrook Ensemble
September 3rd, 2014
Omaha, NE — As summer winds down some music makers are gearing up for a new concert season.[audio:https://kvnonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rangbrook-end-web.mp3]
â€œThe concert will open with Felix Mendelssohnâ€™s â€˜String Quartet No. 6 in F minorâ€™, a quartet that he wrote immediately following the death of his sister Fanny,â€ Potter said. â€œThe second work on the program will be Franz Schubertâ€™s â€˜String Quartet in C majorâ€™ – the famous one – for two violins, viola, and two cellos.â€
The origin of Mendelssohnâ€™s final quartet derives from the relationship he had with his sister, Fanny.
â€œFelix was incredibly close with his sister Fanny,â€ she said. â€œShe was his older sister by 3 or 4 years. She was a composer as well, she was a good musician.â€
Fanny was rehearsing one of her brotherâ€™s works when she suffered a stroke and died. Felix was devastated.
â€œ…upon hearing the news, Felix collapsed, and he was actually too emotionally distraught to attend the funeral,â€ said Potter.
Potter suggests that writing the quartet offered Mendelssohn an opportunity to mourn.
â€œThis is of course just my opinion, I think the quartet is Mendelssohn trying to go through the grieving process, musically,â€ she said.
Felix Mendelssohn would meet his own early demise a few short months later, and the quartet stands as his final completed chamber work. The other piece on the program, Schubertâ€™s â€œString Quintet in Câ€ also attained the dubious honor of being the composerâ€™s last completed chamber work. Instead of mourning a loved one, it was Schubertâ€™s own death that is foreshadowed. However, the quintetâ€™s legacy is greater than just acting as Schubertâ€™s last musical thoughts.
â€œThereâ€™s a violinist who has the second theme from the first movement engraved on his tombstone, Arthur Rubinstein, the pianist, asked that the slow movement be played at his funeral. This is a piece that has a lot of meaning for a lot of people,â€ Potter said.
The Rangbrook Ensemble plays music of Mendelssohn and Schubert this Sunday, September 7 at the First Presbyterian Church of Omaha. More information is available at www.rangbrookensemble.org.
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