2019 Winter Festival

It is with tremendous pride that I invite you to our 2019 Winter Festival, one that is sure to delight and inspire.

This season we explore the development of music from the iconic romantic classics of Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms, through inventive and emotional masterpieces of the mid-20th century. Special highlights include Beethoven’s famous “Ghost” piano trio, with its haunting, spectral 2nd movement (Jan. 18), Brahms’ magnificent Op. 25 Piano Quartet (Jan. 19), Janáček’s first String Quartet, based on Tolstoy’s riveting novella “The Kreutzer Sonata” (Jan. 25), and a Festival-closing all-French concert on Jan. 27 featuring masterpieces of Saint-Saëns, Fauré, and Debussy.

Please join us for this musical feast in the glorious acoustics of Nordstrom Recital Hall. We look forward to seeing you there!

James Ehnes
Artistic Director

Day-by-Day
Full Program

Friday, January 18, 2019

recital
6:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Joyce Yang plays Schumann
Free Event
concert
7:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Sonata in E-flat Major for Viola and Piano, Op. 120 No. 2

Originally composed for the clarinet, the composer later transcribed the piece for viola to take advantage of the instrument’s lower register.

Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, H. 313

With only two instruments, Martinu creates an incredible range of tonal color and mood. The second piece is incredibly tender, and the finale hides several musical jokes, including a reference to Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony.

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost”

The slow middle movement gives this, one of the most famous of all piano trios, its nickname. The haunting melody is said to be inspired by the opening scene of Hamlet.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

recital
6:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Nicolas Kendall and Efe Baltacigil play Rogerson
Free Event
concert
7:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Introduction and Variations on “Trockne Blumen” for Flute and Piano in E minor, D. 802

Based on a song from his famed “Die schöne Müllerin” cycle, these variations allowed Schubert to explore the beautiful melody in greater detail and variety.

Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12

Based on traditional Hungarian folk melodies, the Serenade is filled with virtuosic passages for all three musicians.

Quartet for Piano and Strings in G minor, Op. 25

Brahms’ first Piano Quartet has withstood the test of time with beautiful melodies, and a dazzling finale that is as virtuosic as anything in the repertoire for the pianist.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

recital
2:00 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Sean Lee plays Paganini
Free Event
concert
3:00 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Debussy, Beethoven, and Shostakovich
Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp

The first piece written for this group of instruments, it paved the way for composers looking for a wide range of musical color in a small ensemble.

Sonata for Violin and Piano in C minor, Op. 30 No. 2

Quintessentially Beethoven, this sonata was written when he learned of his impending deafness and moves from a characteristically dark place to a triumphant and defiant tone.

Quintet for Piano and Strings in G minor, Op. 57

The musical language is a nod to Bach with the structure of a prelude and fugue in the first two movements, but in the style of Shostakovich with his modern soundscape

Friday, January 25, 2019

recital
6:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Tessa Lark plays Telemann, Corigliano, and bluegrass compositions by Lark
Free Event
concert
7:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Shostakovich, Janáček, and Schumann
Duets for Two Violins and Piano

With a distinctly Viennese sound, these extremely melodic miniatures also contain Shostakovich’s typical harmonies, particularly in the final movement Waltz.

String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata"

Inspired by Tolstoy’s novella, which was itself inspired by Beethoven’s Violin Sonata, this work is programmatic musically telling the story of jealousy and rage found in Tolstoy’s story.

Quartet for Piano and Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 47

One of the favorites of the repertoire, this quartet features beautiful, lush melodies and strong contrasts between the piano and strings, hallmarks of Schumann’s chamber music.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

recital
6:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Anton Nel plays Schubert
Free Event
concert
7:30 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Trio No. 1 for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 34

In this modern and melodic piece, each instrument has a separate but equal voice, creating a sense of power and fullness when the instruments play in unison.

Gemini Variations for Flute, Violin and Piano, Four-hands, Op. 73

Britten wrote several famous sets of Themes and Variations based on other composers work. This one, on music by Kodaly, was written for brothers, one who played flute, the other was a violinist, and both were pianists.

String Quartet in G Major D. 887

Massive in scope and scale, this quartet, Schubert’s last, was composed in just over one week’s time.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

recital
2:00 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
The Ehnes Quartet plays Mozart
Free Event
concert
3:00 pm
Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in A Major, Op. 13

One of the first in a long line of great French Violin Sonatas, Fauré’s first sonata has balanced writing for both instruments and lyrical melodies in the Romantic style.

Quartet for Piano and Strings in B-flat Major, Op. 41

Sweeping melodies and clear musical lines show that while not known for his chamber music, Saint-Saëns’ writing rivals that of other Romantic composers and this work deserves a place in the pantheon of great piano quartets.

String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Debussy only wrote one string quartet, but this masterpiece showcases his talents as a master of the timbre, or color, of the instruments in the group.