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Les Balkans, nobles et sentimentaux

Union Hall, Maribor

Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60
Max Bruch: Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola and piano, Op. 83 (selection)
GuIllaume Connesson: Disco Toccata for clarinet and cello
Ney Rosauro: Concerto for Marimba No. 1 (arr. V. Nušev for marimba and  quintet)
Improvisation on Romanian themes
Pande Shahov: Les Balkans, nobles et sentimentaux

Already last year we were convinced that the musicians gathered around Simon Trpčeski were bursting with temperament, enthusiasm and masterful musicianship, in addition to being sincerely devoted to a wide variety of music. This year, this group of six unusual virtuosos returns with new discoveries, provocations and interpretations.

That these musicians, despite the proverbial North German reticence of Johannes Brahms, are not intimidated by his oeuvre, is evidenced by the inclusion of Brahms’s piece at the very beginning of the program. A close listen to his music reveals that Brahms himself, in some parallel universe, would probably have raised a shot of rakia to greet these Balkan interpreters. They would certainly find each other in a performance of the Third Piano Quartet. Brahms set about writing it as a feverishly driven young composer – and then delayed publication. The reason for the hesitation was probably not only his legendary perfectionism, but also his ardent but unrequited love for Clara Schumann. While writing this piece, Brahms, in his own words, often felt like Goethe’s romantic hero Werther, thus this quartet is full of the gloomy thoughts of a passionate young artist. 

Brahms’s friend and contemporary Max Bruch saw his more famous colleague differently, however, describing the situation as follows: “In just fifty years, his brilliance as the greatest composer of all time will shine brightly, while I will be remembered only for my Violin Concerto in G minor.” He justified it in the same breath, “I had a family that I had to feed and children’s education to provide for. My pieces had to earn money. That’s why I was forced to write catchy and understandable works... I always wrote good music, but it was the kind that could be sold.” The statement that he wrote good music really cannot be disputed. At the same time, however, in Bruch’s oeuvre we also find some works that seem to have been created  under the pure aesthetic inspiration of a musical muse. Among these are the cycle Eight Pieces, Op. 83, with their beauty and unusual coloring arising from the uncommon instrumentation, some movements of which we will hear at our concert.

But the predictability of our concert ends with Bruch, as the welltrained virtuosos take a shortcut to the present. Following the break-neck music of Guillaume Connesson, we hear the Marimba Concerto by the Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro in an  original adaptation by Vlatko Nušev, while the conclusion of the concert belongs to music of Pande Shahov that is bathed in  colorful Macedonian warmth. In between, the musicians set aside their sheet music and prepare a surprise. Where does it say that a chamber music concert must follow notated music? Our musicians know that music comes from the heart and that live improvisation provides the most direct musical experience. It is sure to be a real musical celebration!

Tickets (online purchase): 15 € / Senior 12 € / Students, Disability 7,50 €
Ticket sales begins on 11th July.
Discounted tickets can be purchased at the Information office of Narodni dom Maribor or at the concert venue up to an hour before the concert.

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