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Fall Chamber Series 2022

Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Brian Rust

Piano Trio to Close Fall Chamber Series

26 Oct 2022 | United States Marine Band

Piano Trio to Close Fall Chamber Series

The 2022 Fall Chamber Series will conclude this Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m., featuring a piano trio performing three different works by three different masterful composers of the classical and romantic periods. Coordinated by pianist Staff Sgt. Christopher Schmitt, the concert will take place in John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in southeast Washington, D.C., and will be livestreamed online.


Program & Notes

The piano trio will perform Soir et matin, Opus 76 by Mélanie Bonis; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Trio in C minor, Opus 1, No. 3; and Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Opus 66. Schmitt offered the following about the program.

The piano trio is argued by many to represent the pinnacle of artistry in chamber music. The breadth and registral variety of the grand piano merge with the vocal and textural qualities of the violin and cello, resulting in a diversity of sonority rivaling that of the orchestra, but highlighting the nimble and often spontaneous musicality of three soloists working in tandem.

Chamber music represents several paradoxes; that of showcasing both impulsivity and structure, expressing one’s personal musical sense while intuiting that of others, and representing the ever-evolving interplay between melody and accompaniment, and between the textural, harmonic, and rhythmic aspects of the work. One hears three artists each expressing unique interpretations of the various melodies and motifs, and yet can sense a vibrant, living ensemble, breathing as one organism, unifying subjective personal experiences into an art form far greater than the individuals composing it.

The Boris Soir-Matin (evening and morning) paint a vivid picture of dusk and dawn, using the French Impressionist vocabulary to represent the brimming potential within these states, utilizing mutes in the strings and the una corda pedal in the piano to bring about textures and sonorities that open one’s imagination up to a variety of personal interpretations. Beethoven’s Piano Trio in C minor, Opus 1, No. 3, one of his first pieces published, already shows so much of what this master composer is known for: clarity of structure and form, impetuousness, violent contrasts, and a depth of emotion that transcends all else. Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 in C minor, Opus 66, is an outpouring of Romantic passion formed in the cast of Classical tradition but with unprecedented variety; introspective, almost existential questioning, a devilishly ominous scherzo, and an impassioned finale which juxtaposes emotions of hopeless despair with sacred solemnity and triumphant exuberance.

The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets required. The Marine Barracks Annex is located at 1053 7th Street SE in Washington, DC, and free parking is available in the gated lot beneath the bridge on 7th Street. Please allow extra time for ID checks and security at the gate.