The string quintet lends itself to camaraderie, and with this theme of friendship, Edward Arron brings together alumni of Caramoor’s Rising Stars mentoring program and Artistic Director Pamela Frank for an evening of inspiring chamber music in the historic Rosen House.
Arron designed this program to warm us up from the winter with festive compositions considered to be string quintet masterpieces. Mozart contributes a unique voice, being an expert of both violin and viola, to create rich textures in his first quintet piece, String Quintet No. 1 in B-flat major, K. 174, which opens the concert. Dohnanyi then offers his innovative Serenade, Op. 10, which at once looks forward with modernism and back with lush romanticism. Having been alive throughout most of the 20th century, Dohnanyi also provides us with a direct link to Brahms, who recognized Dohnanyi’s talent and is largely responsible for his reputation. Brahms lets the evening conclude on a satisfying note with his mirthful String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88.
Join us on this night with friends of your own!
Pamela Frank, violin
Arnaud Sussmann, violin
Toby Appel, viola
Mark Holloway, viola Edward Arron,cello
Mozart String Quintet No. 1 in B-flat major, K. 174 Dohnanyi Serenade, Op. 10 Brahms String Quintet No. 1 in F major, Op. 88
“My goal as a programmer is to create interesting contexts with musical treasures both old and new, combining the familiar with the unfamiliar, in order to provide an experience that is completely unique to the time and space that our live performance inhabits.”
– Edward Arron
Edward Arron has garnered recognition worldwide for his elegant musicianship, impassioned performances, and creative programming. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Arron made his New York recital debut in 2000 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Earlier that year, he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos with Yo-Yo Ma and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Opening Night Gala of the Caramoor International Festival. Since that time, Mr. Arron has appeared in recital, as a soloist with orchestra, and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
The 2012-13 season marked Mr. Arron’s 10th anniversary season as the artistic director of the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert, a chamber music series created in 2003 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Museum’s prestigious Concerts and Lectures series. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Arron succeeded Charles Wadsworth as the artistic director, host, and resident performer of the Musical Masterworks concert series in Old Lyme, Connecticut, as well as concert series in Beaufort and Columbia, South Carolina. He is also the artistic director of the Caramoor Virtuosi, the resident chamber ensemble of the Caramoor International Music Festival.
Mr. Arron has performed numerous times at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls, New York’s Town Hall, and the 92nd Street Y, and is a frequent performer at Bargemusic. Past summer festival appearances include Ravinia, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, BRAVO! Colorado, Tanglewood, Bridgehampton, Spoleto USA, Santa Fe, Seattle Chamber Music, Bard Summerscape, Seoul Spring, Great Mountains, and Isaac Stern’s Jerusalem Chamber Music Encounters. Mr. Arron has participated in the Silk Road Project and has toured and recorded as a member of MOSAIC, an ensemble dedicated to contemporary music.
Edward Arron began his studies on the cello at age seven in Cincinnati and, at age ten, moved to New York, where he continued his studies with Peter Wiley. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harvey Shapiro. Mr. Arron has served on the faculty of New York University since 2009.
American violinist Pamela Frank has established an outstanding international reputation across an unusually varied range of performing activity. In addition to her extensive schedule of engagements with prestigious orchestras throughout the world and her recitals on the leading concert stages, she is regularly sought after as a chamber music partner by today’s most distinguished soloists and ensembles. The breadth of this accomplishment and her consistently high level of musicianship were recognized in 1999 with the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists.
Ms. Frank has appeared with such orchestras as the Baltimore Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the Houston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the San Francisco Symphony and the Vienna Symphony. She has performed under many esteemed conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Leonard Slatkin and, most regularly, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman. She appears often at numerous festivals in Europe and the United States, including Aldeburgh, Berlin, Blossom, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, the Hollywood Bowl, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood and Verbier.
Born in New York City, Pamela Frank is the daughter of noted pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir. She began her violin studies at age five and after 11 years as a pupil of Shirley Givens continued her musical education with Szymon Goldberg and Jaime Laredo. In 1985 she formally launched her career with the first of her four appearances with Alexander Schneider and the New York String Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1988, she graduated the following year from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmann has distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura and profound musicianship. A thrilling young musician capturing the attention of classical critics and audiences around the world, he has appeared with the American Symphony Orchestra, Stamford Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Minnesota Sinfonia, Lexington Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony and France’s Nice Orchestra. Further concerto appearances have included a tour of Israel and concerts at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Dresden Music Festival in Germany and at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Mr. Sussmann has been presented in recital in Omaha on the Tuesday Musical Club series, New Orleans by the Friends of Music, Tel Aviv at the Museum of Art and at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He has also given concerts at the OK Mozart, Moritzburg, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, La Jolla SummerFest, Mainly Mozart, Seattle Chamber Music, Bridgehampton and the Moab Music festivals.
Mr. Sussmann has performed with many of today’s leading artists including Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Wu Han, David Finckel, Jan Vogler and members of the Emerson String Quartet. He has worked with conductors such as Robert Moody, Anu Tali, Peter Bay and Leon Botstein. A dedicated chamber musician, he has been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2006 and has regularly appeared with them in New York and on tour, including a recent concert at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Born in Strasbourg, France and based now in New York City, Mr. Sussmann trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and The Juilliard School with Boris Garlitsky and Itzhak Perlman. Winner of several international competitions, including the Andrea Postacchini of Italy and Vatelot/Rampal of France, he was named a Starling Fellow in 2006, an honor which allowed him to be Mr. Perlman’s teaching assistant for two years. For more information, visit www.arnaudsussmann.com.
Arnaud Sussmann participated in Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He most recently appeared at Caramoor in November 2014. He is a member of Edward Arron & Friends, which receives generous support from The Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation.
Toby Appel has appeared in recital and concerto performances throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. He has been a member of such renowned ensembles as TASHI, and the Lenox and Audubon Quartets. Mr. Appel has been a guest artist with the Vermeer, Manhattan, and Alexander Quartets as well as a frequent guest with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society and with jazz artists Chick Corea and Gary Burton. Festival performances include those with Mostly Mozart (NY), Santa Fe (NM), Angel Fire (NM), Seattle (Wa), Bravo! Vail Valley (Co), Chamber Music Northwest (Or), and Marlboro (Vt), as well as festivals in England, France, Korea, Germany, Italy, Finland, and Greece. In 1975, Mr. Appel was featured in a CBS television special performing works commissioned by him for three violas, all played by Toby Appel. In 1980, Mr. Appel was the winner of Young Concert Artists International.
A most versatile artist, Mr. Appel has narrated performances including: A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, by Benjamin Britten, Ferdinand, by Alan Ridout and Munro Leaf, Ode to Napoleon, by Arnold Schoenberg, Histoire du Soldat, by Igor Stravinsky, Masque of the Red Death, by Andre Caplet and Edgar Allan Poe, and Facade, by William Walton and Edith Sitwell. Mr. Appel is a frequent commentator for National Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Toby Appel entered the Curtis Institute at age 13 under the guidance of Max Aronoff. He is currently on the viola and chamber music faculties at the Juilliard School in New York City. Other teaching has included professorships at the State University of New York, Carnegie Mellon University, and The Yale School of Music. He has toured for the United States State Department and performed at the United Nations and at the White House. Mr. Appel’s chamber music and recital recordings can be heard on the Columbia, Delos, Desto, Koch International, Opus 1, and Musical Heritage Society labels.
Toby Appel lives in New York City with his wife, Carolyn.
Mark Holloway, viola
Violist MarkHolloway is a chamber musician sought after in the United States and abroad. He has appeared at prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Ravinia, Caramoor, Banff, Cartagena, Taos, Music from Angel Fire, Mainly Mozart, Music at Plush, and the Boston Chamber Music Society. Performances have taken him to far-flung places such as Chile and Greenland, and he plays regularly at chamber music festivals in France and Switzerland, and at the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England.
Around New York City, he frequently appears as a guest with the New York Philharmonic and Orpheus. Mr. Holloway has been principal violist at Tanglewood and of the New York String Orchestra, and has played as guest principal of the American Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Camerata Bern, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has performed at Bargemusic, the 92nd Street Y, the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, and on radio and television throughout North and South America, and Europe, most recently a Live From Lincoln Center broadcast. A member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mr. Holloway was a student of Michael Tree at The Curtis Institute of Music and received his bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Mark Holloway participated in Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He most recently appeared at Caramoor in 2009. Mr. Holloway is a member of Edward Arron & Friends, which receives generous support from The Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/1756-1791/ String Quintet No.1 in B-flat, K.174
Mozart’s String Quintets are among the most powerful and treasurable works of his wide-ranging chamber music output. There are five quintets dating from the last four years of his life, suggesting that he had become deeply committed to the quintet medium with its relatively darker sonority obtained by adding a second viola to the standard genre of the string quartet.
His first such quintet dates from 1773, nearly fifteen years earlier. This is clearly an early work with indications of the kind of music that particularly influenced the young Mozart. In this case, the influence seems to come from Michael Haydn, the younger brother of Joseph, who was a colleague of Mozart’s in Salzburg, and who had composed a string quintet—with two violas—in C in February 1773. It wasn’t long before Wolfgang began his own viola quintet, in the key of B-flat. Both Haydn’s quintet and Mozart’s make much of a charming interplay between the first violin and the first viola. The following December Mozart revised his work considerably, writing an entirely new trio designed to produce echo effects between the parts, and a finale that he reconsidered completely in a contrapuntal guise, using part of the theme he had composed for the original version.
In this first string quintet, Mozart was still learning to use the darker sonority afforded by two violas, and—even though there are only the four “standard” movements for a serious work of chamber music—he wrote a divertimento-like piece in a wide mixture of styles, as if experimenting with its possibilities. The Adagio, with muted strings, also emphasizes the thematic interplay of first violin and first viola, with a decorative air throughout. In the Menuetto the first violin and viola intone the thematic material, while second violin and viola support with chordal arpeggiation, and the cello punctuates the bass line. The Trio, one of the last parts to be composed, breaks up into a series of short echo effects, though still pairing the firsts and seconds as in the earlier movements.
Mozart evidently felt the need for a real capstone for the quintet, because he recast his original finale into a lively and cheerful rondo with contrapuntal passages to show off his technique. Here, for almost the first time in the piece, the violins play together and the violas answer together in the scurrying sixteenth-note figure, while elsewhere Mozart groups the instruments in still other, delightfully unpredictable, ways for a delightful conclusion.
Ernö Dohnanyi/1877-1960/ Serenade, Op. 10
Though he is not so well remembered today, Ernö Dohnányi (his birth name in Hungary; in other countries he used Ernst) is regarded as the most versatile Hungarian composer since Franz Liszt, and the one who played the greatest role in the development of Hungary’s musical life early in the 20th century. He was skilled as a composer, a truly great pianist, a fine conductor, and also a gifted administrator (a rare combination). He grew up in a musical family and passed the art on to his own offspring (his grandson is the well-known conductor Christoph von Dohnányi).
Dohnányi was a friend of Bartók’s from his early school days, though his own musical style remained much closer to the main German traditions of late Romantic music, especially that of Brahms, whose early influence on him was profound, though he found a path to his own style in the Serenade in C.
The Opus 10 serenade was published in 1904, when the composer was twenty-seven years old; he had already established himself with his Opus 1, a piano quintet praised by Brahms himself. Opus 10 was to attract the attention of Donald Francis Tovey, who hailed it, in an extended analysis, as one of the very few great compositions for three stringed instruments since the days of Mozart and Beethoven. With its five movements and their characteristic titles, the Serenade is essentially a suite (especially since it lacks a sonata-form first movement). The lively march of the opening includes a Trio suggesting a folk melody, with the steady accompanying drone. This Trio returns briefly in the finale, along with the rhythmic pattern of the march, to round off the work as a whole. The scherzo has a rapid opening in the style of a fugue, and after the contrasting Trio, both scherzo theme and Trio join in a double fugue, making it a highly learned form, though Dohnányi wears his learning lightly. The variation movement is the most serious part of the serenade; its quiet unfolding in a rich, romantic way is filled with marvels of invention for the three instruments.
Johannes Brahms/1833-1897/String Quintet No. 1 in F, Op. 88
The earliest chamber music that Brahms wrote for stringed instruments—at least the earliest that he published—was a sextet for pairs of violins, violas, and cellos. He seemed to revel in the luxury of six parts, and he apparently took special pleasure in the fact that for once he did not have to sense the footsteps of giants behind him: Beethoven never wrote a string sextet. Early on Brahms also attempted a string quintet—one with two cellos, on the model of Schubert’s great C‑Major essay in the medium—but the work proved refractory, and after repeatedly recasting it, he finally published it in two very different versions—as a piano quintet and as a two‑piano work.
His next work for a larger-than-quartet string ensemble was Opus 88, conceived “Im Frühling [in the spring] 1882,” though probably finished only after repairing to one of his favorite vacation spots, Ischl. The first phrases hint at a new lyricism, as if the “extra” part allows the composer to unbutton a bit. At the same time the quintet is extraordinarily terse for all its wealth of material. Using two violas, Brahms creates lavishly varied textures even between one phrase and the next (this is especially true in the A‑Major secondary material of the first movement, where, in addition to indulging in his predilection for two‑versus‑three in rhythmic patterns, he also changes the character of the accompaniment every four bars). And what seemed, at the outset, charming and almost folk-like, comes back at the recapitulation fiery and sonorous.
The extraordinary middle movement combines elements of the traditional slow movement and scherzo. The opening section, Grave ed appassionato, is in C‑sharp minor, a pensive strain (made more so by seeming to begin in the Major) closing in bleak emptiness. A contrasting section, Allegretto vivace, 6/8 time, presents a full binary statement in A Major before it in turn dies away and returns to a more fully scored treatment of the C‑sharp minor material. As it fades away again, the A Major material returns as a variation of itself, Presto. Now the original material returns also in A Major! An extended coda moves to C‑sharp, but the A‑Major chord keeps interfering, reasserting itself through a D chord, which has a relationship to both. Finally, against all expectation, the mediating chord engineers a magical cadence to A Major with the first violin floating aloft.
The surprising final chord of the middle movement has a unifying role to play: it recalls the importance of the key of A Major in the first movement and foreshadows the major role the same key will play in the finale, which also brings in the secondary material in A an indulges in games of two‑versus‑three. The finale combines fugal and sonata elements into a vigorous workout for all concerned.