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Ensemble SF – Romance in Portola Valley

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Date(s) - 10/11/2015
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Valley Presbyterian Church


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Join Ensemble San Francisco for an intimate and heartfelt evening as ESF explores the music of unrequited love. San Francisco Symphony’s assistant principal cellist Amos Yang joins ESF musicians Rebecca Jackson, Matthew Young, Mingjia Liu, and Christine McLeavey Payne.

The evening begins with a lively duo performed by Rebecca and Matt. Handel’s Passacaglia (originally a Spanish street dance) is re-imagined as an intricate violin and viola duet by Johan Halvorsen.

The Loeffler Rhapsodies bring together mysticism and folksong to portray two poems about death and lost love. Composed for the unusual trio of oboe, viola, and piano, Loeffler creates a unique sound world, blending influences as diverse as medieval music, Russian folk music, and American jazz.

The Piano Quartet in C Minor by Johannes Brahms is one of the great works in the chamber music repertoire. Brahms began the composition while living with Clara Schumann, with whom he was famously in love, though she was already married to composer Robert Schumann. Brahms was candid that the brooding quality of the piece was a direct reference to Werther, Goethe’s Romantic hero of unrequited love who eventually commits suicide. Nevertheless, from the midst of this stormy and passionate work emerges a gorgeous slow middle movement, featuring one of the most gentle love songs ever composed.

  • Frideric Handel-Johan Halvorsen: Passacaglia for violin and viola
  • Charles Loeffler: Two Rhapsodies for viola, oboe, and piano
  • Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op. 60 “Werther Quartet”

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