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Great Musical Partnerships

4 Session Afternoon Course

4 sessions from April 17 to May 8, 2024
Upcoming Session:
Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0464
Location:
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Top: Portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by Barbara Kraft, 1819 (Society of Friends of Music in Vienna) Bottom: Haydn by Thomas Hardy, 1791 (Royal College of Music)

Composing is solitary work, but artistry cannot flourish in isolation. Whether reclusive or gregarious, socially inept or beloved and charming, all successful composers were supported by a wide network of friends, family, fellow professionals and patrons. In a new series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin examines some of these fascinating associations and the inspiring music that we owe to them.

April 17   Meetings of Hearts and Minds  

Throughout musical history, no relationships have been more researched and wondered about than the infinitely complex web of love and genius that bound together Robert Schumann, Clara Weick, and Johannes Brahms. Closely surrounding these charismatic individuals was a wider circle of devoted personal and professional friends who included Felix Mendelssohn and Joseph Joachim. These intimate connections had far-reaching consequences and influenced the path of music and musical life up to the present day. Works explored include Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, Schumann’s Carnaval, and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1.

April 24   Kindred Spirits

Mozart and Haydn, Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Modeste Mussorgsky, Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein: These are just a few of many deep fellowships between leading composers who inspired, supported, promoted and performed each other’s work. Works featured include Mozart’s “Haydn” string quartets, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and symphonies by Mahler.

May 1  Beethoven and his Circle

Ludwig van Beethoven was notorious for being an extremely high-maintenance friend, but throughout his life many of his circle remained fiercely loyal to him including his adored Antonie Brentano, piano maker Nanette Streicher, and farsighted patrons such as Count Ferdinand von Waldstein and Prince Karl Lichnowsky. Enjoy selections from Beethoven’s song cycle To the Distant Beloved, his mighty Diabelli Variations and “Waldstein” sonata, and his opera Fidelio, among others.

May 8  Strange Connections

One of the most one-sided relationships between composers is that of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt. Franklin explores how Liszt’s generous support of the relentlessly needy Wagner was not repaid. Wagner also sustained a lucrative and bizarre association with the star-struck, ultimately tragic Ludwig II of Bavaria who bankrolled Wagner’s operatic Valhalla, Bayreuth. In Russia the extraordinary businesswoman Countess Nadezhda von Meck felt driven to help gifted musical artists, including Debussy and Tchaikovsky. However, both struggled with her imperious demands while seeking to remain independent and continuing to receive financial support. Works include selections from Wagner operas and his Wesendonck-Lieder, as well as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and other works.

4 sessions

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