Viola, Viola!



W. A. Mozart   (1756-1791)   Quintet for horn and strings in Eb Major, K. 407

Andreas Romberg   (1767-1821)   Quintet for flute and strings in E Minor, Op. 41 No. 

Felix Mendelssohn   (1809-1847)   String Quintet in Bb Major, Op. 87


Susan Nidel, flute

Bernhard Scully, horn

Ronnie Bauch, violin

Miki-Sophia Cloud, violin

Ramon Carrero-Martinez, viola

Marka Gustavsson, viola

Chris Finckel, ‘cello

Often celebrated for its rich, mellow sound, and sometimes overlooked because of how well it blends in, the viola, which could be called the ‘middle child’ of the string family, was a favorite of composers during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Mozart, a very fine violist himself, often chose to take that part in performances, and he popularized the idea of using two violas in small ensembles with his Viola Quintets, most of which are considered absolute masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire. The horn was another of his favorite instruments, and his Horn Quintet showcases both.

Andreas Romberg, a contemporary of Mozart’s, whose music received considerably more attention during his own lifetime, also employed two violas to enrich 8 quintets that he composed featuring the flute. His Quintet in E Minor is immensely appealing with its minor key ‘Sturm and Drang,’ abrupt dynamic changes and pulsing rhythms contrasted by smooth and flowing melodies and a rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” 

Inspired by Mozart’s form, Mendelssohn’s energetic Viola Quintet is among the strongest chamber works from the end of his brief life, and a fine example of his evolving style, as he pursued modes of more overt and dramatic expression, including a powerful Larghetto that features some of his most sober and tragic writing.

October 12, 2019

4:00 pm ~ Sugar Hill Meeting House, Sugar Hill, NH

$25.00 in advance or $30.00 at door

October 13, 2019

4:00 pm ~ Court Street Arts at Alumni Hall, Haverhill, NH

$25.00 in advance, $30 door rate for non-members