Brahms wins
11 Oct 2010
Jack Fishman

The NY Yankee/Classical Music analogy only gets you so far. In yesterday's blog, (click here to read it) I wrote about two performances of the great Brahms Clarinet Quintet. The first performance was this past Sunday by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, presented by the San Antonio Chamber Music Society. The second San Antonio performance of this work is this coming up Sunday, October 17 by Camerata San Antonio.

In my blog I recommended that chamber music fans attend both concerts, not as a competition between two groups of professional musicians, but as a way of testing the role of the composer vs. the role of the interpreter. I joking called the Lincoln Center group the NY Yankees, because of all the famous players in the ensemble.

Well, I must withdraw my recommendation to attend both concerts. You see, Camerata San Antonio is playing the Brahms three times (see dates below). The Brahms is SO GREAT, I now highly, highly, highly recommend you attend ALL their performances this week. Of course, my wife will kill me if I try to attend four concerts in one week just to hear the same piece over and over again, but my recommendation stands. You see my backyard really needs mowing, but it will just have to wait until I can fully absorb the masterpiece that is the Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Opus 115.

Even players as great as those in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, were strongly influenced by the enormity of the Brahms Clarinet Quintet. On the first half they programmed quintets by two slackers named Mozart and Mendelssohn. The performance was disappointing. But, when clarinetist David Shifrin joined the ensemble for the Brahms, it was as if the legendary Yankee relief pitcher Mariano Rivera had come into the game to save the victory. I'm a huge Mariano Rivera fan. I'm an even bigger David Shifrin fan. But, yesterday it was Brahms that won the game and the Lincoln Center Five were reborn as they played it.

I have an idea! What if Camerata San Antonio eliminated the repertoire of the first half of their program and just played the Brahms twice at each concert? That way we could all hear it seven times in one week!

Hot tip: Camerata's Friday night concert is at the Boerne First United Methodist (250 E. James in Boerne.) If, for some bizarre reason, your spouse will only let you attend one performance of the Brahms Quintet this week, this is the one to select because this Church has such fabulous acoustics. (It is the site where Camerata recorded their Latin Grammy-nominated CD.)

Here are a few chamber music options coming up this week:

Oct. 12, 2010 | 7:30 pm
Tuesday Music Club presents PSB Piano Trio
Laurel Heights United Methodist Church
227 W Woodlawn Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212-3494

The Perlman/Schmidt/Bailey Trio are:
Navah Perlman, piano; Giora Schmidt, violin; Zuill Bailey, cello

Camerata San Antonio

Kerrville: Thursday, October 14 @ 7:30pm
Boerne: Friday, October 15 @ 7:30pm
San Antonio: Sunday, October 17 @ 3:00pm

Golijov: Tenebrae
Frank: Leyendas - An Andean Walkabout
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115

Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet
Sayaka Okada & Matthew Zerweck, violins
Emily Freudigman, viola
Ken Freudigman, cello

Camerata SA Venues:
Kerrville First Presbyterian Church - 800 E Jefferson
Boerne First United Methodist - 250 E. James
Travis Park United Methodist Church - 230 E. Travis, San Antonio

David Krakauer's Acoustic Klezmer Project in Concert
Presented by Arts San Antonio

Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio
Holzman Auditorium

Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, he occupies the unique position of being one of the world's leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and at the same time a major voice in classical music. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, David Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated ensemble of four musicians.

"While firmly rooted in traditional klezmer folk tunes, the band hurls the tradition of klezmer music into the rock era." -- Jon Pareles, The New York Times
The Barshop Jewish Community Center of San Antonio
12500 NW Military Highway, San Antonio, Texas 78231

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Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115
Bartók: Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Sz 111
Bernstein: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Mozart: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K 581
Mozart: Serenade for Winds no 11 in E flat major, K 375
Seiber: Serenade for 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons and 2 Horns
Music for Viola and Gypsy Band
Bolcom: Afternoon Cakewalk
Brahms: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120 no 1
Brahms: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op. 114
Piazzolla: La muerte del Angel
Debussy: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano
Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in B-flat major, FP 184
Martinu: Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, H 356
Hindemith: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Lutoslawski: Dance Preludes (5) for Clarinet and Piano
Debussy: Two pieces from Children's Corner arr. for clarinet and piano by David Schiff
Debussy: Première Rhapsodie for Clarinet and Piano
Mozart: Parto, ma tu ben mio from La Clemenza di Tito
Dvorak: Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44
Mozart: Serenade for Winds no 10 in B flat major, K 361 (370a) "Gran Partita"
Weber: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B flat major, J 182/Op. 34
Weber: Variations (7) for Clarinet and Piano from "Silvana," J 128/Op 33
Weber: Grand Duo concertante for Clarinet and Piano in E flat major, J 204/Op. 48
Schubert: Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D 965/Op. 129 (The Shepherd on the Rock)
Dvorak: Serenade for Winds in D minor, Op. 44
Strauss: Duet-Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon, Strings and Harp, AV 147
Piazzolla: Oblivion
Rogerson: Constellations
Bunch: Ralph's Old Records for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, and PIano
Schickele: Serenade for Three
Schickele: Clarinet Quintet "Spring Ahead"
Shulman: Rendezvous
Etler: Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Ensemble
Mozart: Serenade for Winds in E-flat Major, K. 375
Beethoven: Quintet for Piano, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn in E flat major, Op. 16
Bruch: Eight Pieces for viola, clarinet, and piano, Op. 83
Davidovsky: Septet for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass
Beethoven: Septet in E flat major, Op. 20
Jalbert: Street Antiphons
Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115
Mozart: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, K 581
Stravinsky: L'histoire du soldat