Old & New (SF)

April 9, 2016—ESF presented a blend of classic and modern: well-loved Brahms and Mozart alongside the contemporary Sextet for Clarinet, Strings, and Piano by Sheridan Seyfried.

BRAHMS - Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115
MOZART - Horn Quintet, K. 407
SEYFRIED - Sextet for Clarinet, Strings, and Piano

Featuring:
Jose Gonzalez Granero, clarinet
Kevin Rivard, french horn
Rebecca Jackson and Moni Simeonov, violins
Matthew Young and Joy Fellows, violas
Jonah Kim, cello
Christine McLeavey Payne, piano

After the concert, musicians and members of the audience celebrated at Muka wine bar in Hayes Valley.

This concert was made possible through a generous grant from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Old & New (Portola Valley)

Photo by Scot Goodman

Photo by Scot Goodman

April 3, 2016—ESF presented a blend of classic and modern: well-loved Brahms and Mozart alongside the contemporary Sextet for Clarinet, Strings, and Piano by Sheridan Seyfried.

BRAHMS - Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115
MOZART - Horn Quintet, K. 407
SEYFRIED - Sextet for Clarinet, Strings, and Piano

Featuring:
Jose Gonzalez Granero, clarinet
Kevin Rivard, french horn
Rebecca Jackson and Moni Simeonov, violins
Matthew Young and Joy Fellows, violas
Jonah Kim, cello
Christine McLeavey Payne, piano

This concert was made possible through a generous grant from San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Celebrating the New Year (Portola Valley)

ESF welcomed the new year with a program full of glorious melodies, as well as more than a bit of pure silliness.

Rufus Olivier and Christine Payne began the evening on a charming note, with the Bassoon Sonata by Camille Saint-Saens, full of both pastoral and humorous moments. Next, acclaimed mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland joined the ESF string musicians for Respighi’s Il Tramonto (The Sunset). Composed in 1918, the piece was a success from the start. The whole work is pure musical poetry, intense in its expressiveness, crystalline yet colorful in its instrumentation, and delicate in its harmonies.

The second half of the program opened with the much loved Romance from Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, performed here in the intimate version for piano and string quartet. This is Chopin at his most operatic, spinning a seamless, highly decorated, bel canto melody over the
merest thread of accompaniment. Last was the tremendously fun Café Music for piano trio. Composer Paul Schoenfield explains, “My intention was to write a kind of high-class dinner music that might (just barely) find its way into a concert hall. The work draws on many of the types of music… early 20th-century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy, and Broadway styles are all represented.

SAINT-SAENS Sonata for Bassoon and Piano
RESPIGHI Il Tramonto
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1: Romance
SCHOENFIELD Café Music

Celebrating the New Year (SF)

ESF welcomed the new year with a program full of glorious melodies, as well as more than a bit of pure silliness.

Rufus Olivier and Christine Payne began the evening on a charming note, with the Bassoon Sonata by Camille Saint-Saens, full of both pastoral and humorous moments. Next, acclaimed mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland joined the ESF string musicians for Respighi’s Il Tramonto (The Sunset). Composed in 1918, the piece was a success from the start. The whole work is pure musical poetry, intense in its expressiveness, crystalline yet colorful in its instrumentation, and delicate in its harmonies.

The second half of the program opened with the much loved Romance from Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, performed here in the intimate version for piano and string quartet. This is Chopin at his most operatic, spinning a seamless, highly decorated, bel canto melody over the
merest thread of accompaniment. Last was the tremendously fun Café Music for piano trio. Composer Paul Schoenfield explains, “My intention was to write a kind of high-class dinner music that might (just barely) find its way into a concert hall. The work draws on many of the types of music… early 20th-century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy, and Broadway styles are all represented.

SAINT-SAENS Sonata for Bassoon and Piano
RESPIGHI Il Tramonto
CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 1: Romance
SCHOENFIELD Café Music

Romance (SF)

Join us for an intimate and heartfelt evening as ESF explores the music of unrequited love. The evening features Ensemble San Francisco musicians Rebecca Jackson, Matthew Young, Jonah Kim, 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.

HANDEL-HALVORSEN – Passacaglia
LOEFFLER – Two Rhapsodies for Viola, Oboe, and Piano
BRAHMS – Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60

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