Born in Le Mans, Jean René Désiré Françaix (1912 - 1997), was an orchestrator, pianist and composer. He began composing when he was six years old. He was influenced by Maurice Ravel who said to Jean's parents, Among the child's gifts I observe above all the most fruitful an artist can possess, that of curiosity. You must not stifle these precious gifts now or ever, or risk letting this young sensibility wither. Françaix became an accomplished pianist at an early age, earning a First Prize in Piano at the Paris Conservatoire. Françaix wrote more than 200 pieces in a wide variety of styles. Many of his works feature the piano, particularly his chamber works. But he also wrote works for nearly every orchestral instrument and standard ensemble. He was an avowed neo-classicist who rejected atonality and "formless wanderings." He also wrote ten film scores.
Born into a Lutheran family in Hamburg, Germany, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was a composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. He is often grouped with Bach and Beethoven as one of the "Three Bs" of music. From 1845 to 1848 Brahms studied composition with Eduard Marxsen who was personally acquainted with Beethoven and Schubert, and admired the works of Mozart, Haydn, and Bach. Marxsen is credited with ensuring that Brahms's compositions were grounded in their tradition. In October 1853 Brahms was welcomed by Robert Schumann and his wife Clara In Düsseldorf. Schumann was greatly impressed by the 20-year-old's talent, and published an article in which he declared Brahms to be one who was fated to give expression to the times in the highest and most ideal manner.
In 1890, the 57-year-old Brahms began to think that he might retire from composition, telling a friend that he "had achieved enough; here I had before me a carefree old age and could enjoy it in peace." However, he went on to write his Clarinet Trio, and his Clarinet Quintet, (the first movement of which we will be hearing this video), and a number of other pieces including his final cycles of piano pieces.
Considered among the greatest classical composers of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed more than 600 works, many of which, almost two and a half centuries later, are still some of the most important symphonic, concerto, chamber and choral music works in the repertoire. His influence on Western music has been profound. Beethoven composed his early works in the shadow of Mozart. Joseph Haydn wrote, Posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years. In 1773, Mozart was employed as a court musician by the ruler of Salzburg, Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo. Mozart composed in many genres, including symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, masses, serenades, and a few minor operas. Mozart met Joseph Haydn in Vienna around 1784. Haydn told Mozart's father, I tell you before God, and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me by person and repute, he has taste and what is more the greatest skill in composition.
In Mozart's last year, 1791, he composed The Magic Flute; the final piano concerto in B♭, his Clarinet Concerto, the last in his series of string quintets, the motet Ave Verum Corpus, and his unfinished Requiem.
- Bill Kirkley clarinet
- Oksana Gorokhovskiy violin
- Olga Kradenova violin
- Brandon White viola
- Johnny Mok cello
Back to Past Concerts
- Jean Francaix Clarinet Quintet, 2nd Movement
- Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet, 1st Movement
- Wolfgang A. Mozart Clarinet Quintet, 1st and 4th Movements
- George Gershwin Summertime (arr. Kirkley)
Not available at this moment.