Music and Museum: Bechtler Ensemble | Hans Bechtler Dedication Concert
Bechtler Ensemble: Brahms Piano Quartet
Just as Johannes Brahms dedicated Quintet in F minor for Piano and String Quartet to Her Royal Highness Princess Anna von Hessen, Tanja Bechtler follows by paying tribute to her late grandfather, Hans Bechtler, this post-Valentine’s Day season. Join Tanja and the rest of the Bechter Ensemble as they perform this remarkable ensemble work.
Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34, was composed in 1862 by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) as a quintet for two violins, viola and two cellos. Later, the composition was destroyed and re-cast in 1864 as a sonata for two pianos and then as a piano quintet, both versions were dedicated to Princess Anna von Hessen. Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, the son of an impecunious musician. His mother later opened a haberdashery business to help lift the family out of poverty. Showing early musical promise, Brahms became a pupil of the distinguished local pianist and composer Eduard Marxsen and supplemented his parents’ meagre income by playing in the bars and brothels of Hamburg’s infamous red-light district. In 1853 Brahms presented himself to Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf, winning unqualified approval from the older composer. Brahms fell in love with Schumann’s wife, Clara, supporting her after her husband’s illness and death. The relationship did not develop as Brahms wished, and he returned to Hamburg; their close friendship, however, survived. In 1862 Brahms moved to Vienna where he found fame as a conductor, pianist and composer. The Leipzig premiere of his German Requiem in 1869 proved a triumph, with subsequent performances establishing Brahms as one of the emerging German nation’s foremost composers.
Following the long-delayed completion of his First Symphony in 1876, he composed in quick succession the majestic Violin Concerto, the two piano Rhapsodies, Op. 79, the Violin Sonata in G major, and the Second Symphony. His subsequent association with the much-admired court orchestra in Meinigen allowed him freedom to experiment and develop new ideas. In his final years, Brahms composed a series of profound works for the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, and explored matters of life and death in his Four Serious Songs.
He died at his modest lodgings in Vienna in 1897, receiving a hero’s funeral at the city’s central cemetery three days later.
Concerts are performed at 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor gallery. General seating will be available at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar being available at the same time.
Tickets are $14 per person for the public and just $10 per person for museum members. Purchase Tickets online, by phone at 704.353.9200 or at the admission desk.
Information about Johannes Brahms provided by Hyperion Records Limited.