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Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 7:01 am | Fair 53º


Gerald Carpenter: Camerata Plays Haydn, Mozart, Dohnanyi

Camerata Pacifica plays this month's concert locally at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West's Miraflores campus.

Musicians involved are Giora Schmidt, violin; Robert Brophy, viola; Paul Huang, violin; Adrian Spence (Artistic Director), flute; Warren Jones, piano; Ani Aznavoorian, cello; and Richard Yongjae O’Neill, viola.

The Camerata's May program consists of Franz Josef Haydn's Piano Trio No. 29 in G-Major, Hob. XV: 15 (1790, with flute instead of violin); Wolfgang Mozart's String Quintet No. 4 in g-minor, K. 516 (1787); and Ernő Dohnanyi's Piano Quintet No. 1 in c-minor, Opus 1 (1895).

By the latest count, Haydn wrote 45 trios for piano, violin (or flute), and cello. All are wonderful; none is terrible.

It is not Haydn's prodigality the counts against him — he wrote 108 symphonies, 83 string quartets, and so on, including 123 trios for the unusual combination of baryton, viola, and cello (a baryton is "a bowed string instrument similar to the viol, but distinguished by an extra set of plucked strings").

But the fact that almost all of it is brilliant, delightful, and flawless proves rather daunting to programmers and audiences alike.

Hence, the eagerness to attach nicknames to individual works to distinguish them from their equally worthy littermates: the Surprise and Clock symphonies, the Lark, Emperor and Sunrise quartets, etc.

This particular trio finds Haydn in a characteristically playful mood (he and George Washington were 58 when he wrote it) with the flute establishing its independence from the piano right away, and teasingly avoiding any move on the piano's part to call it to order.

It's another perfect blend of auditory simplicity and technical complexity; one of Haydn's trademarks, after all.

Dohnanyi wrote this quintet when he was 18, decades before he turned reactionary and boring. It really is a sumptuous, romantic work, mysterious and thrilling.

Admission to this concert is $56. For tickets and other information, go to the Hahn Hall box office, call Camerata Pacifica, 884-8410, or email [email protected]

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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