Concert Prep

Concert Prep: Hartwick Faculty Showcase

Hartwick College Faculty Showcase

Hartwick College, Anderson Theater

Friday September 12th, 7:30pM

This faculty showcase will feature a variety of pieces presented by the Hartwick College music faculty, including Mozart’s Piano Trio K.498 for Piano, Clarinet, and Viola. It will be played by myself, Kim Paterson on piano, and Robin Seletsky on clarinet. This feature focuses in on the trio in detail.

The second movement (5:20 above) is where things get really interesting: a minuet and trio. Typically the trio serves as a sort of change of pace from the minuet – not taking anything away from the minuet, but providing a brief diversion before we return to the main material. In the above video, the minuet lasts two and a half minutes, and the trio also lasts two and a half minutes – much longer than one would typically expect from a trio. There’s also the extra dramatic element that the trio has to it – one can almost hear a villain creeping around in the shadows here. The real magic in this movement comes at the end, though (10:25 above), where the material from the trio comes back, substituting charm for the villainy found in the trio proper.

The finale is a rondeaux (10:55 above), which basically means that you hear the same chorus – which also begins the work – again and again, broken up with melodic episodes with little to no relation to the chorus. Here again, Mozart stretches the boundaries of the form – rarely and briefly going back to the chorus. Out of 222 measures, a scant 48 of them feature the chorus. Meanwhile each episode has repeats, secondary themes, and development. Of special note to me is the left hand in the piano – quite frequently, as in the beginning,  you’ll hear Mozart write a bass line which is not quite according to the standard rules of voice leading, but which is very melodic, and it elevates the bass line to equal partner to the other parts in this trio. Typically groundbreaking stuff in one of Mozart’s most personal works.

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