anniversaries December 17

For all faiths, celebrations and rituals, music is often an essential part, and it is from these expressions of humanity, hope and love that some of our greatest music has arisen. Among other things this season, we celebrate the miracle of music.

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To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable. Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven, Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op.16

August 3rd, 2015

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op.16(1796, 1801)

In 1797, a 27-year-old Beethoven had yet to try his hand at the “serious” big-ticket genres: string quartet, symphony or opera. Indeed, at the time, he was noteworthy not so much as a composer, but a brilliant pianist, particularly for his stunning improvisations. So far, Beethoven had composed piano sonatas, trios, serenades and various other “miscellaneous” genres and typically with a live performance in mind: to showcase the master at the keyboard. Having written for winds, Beethoven took special inspiration from Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds (K. 452) written thirteen years earlier and decided to write his own. Beethoven’s quintet shares much in common with Mozart’s: the same instrumentation (piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn), the same key (E-flat major), the same three-movement layout and even the same approximate forms for each movement (including the dramatic slow introduction). This is in fact Beethoven at his most Mozartian. « more »


Exploring the String Quartet—The First 250 Years

Exploring the String QuartetSince its birth around 1760, the string quartet has maintained a vital and profound hold on composers, players and listeners: it has been the vehicle par excellence for a rich continuum of some of the finest music composed throughout the last 250 years. Across time, nationality, and centuries of changing style, the string quartet has formed the backbone of small ensemble chamber music with a rich lore. Music for the string quartet consistently features lyrical beauty, complex harmony, intense passion, powerful rhythm and elegant formal design. From the most intimate personal expression to the most brilliant virtuosity, from the ancient and otherworldly to edgy grooves of the present day, the string quartet appears to be an infinitely flexible ensemble engaging great composers and performers in one of the richest living traditions of music in all of history. For many, if not most, however, it a rarely encountered “hidden” genre, while historically, culturally, musically, for others, it is the mother lode. Take some time to discover this stunning genre, the heart of the matter. Explore

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earsense celebrates and explores how music makes "sense" with a focus on the extraordinary genre of chamber music. The centerpiece of earsense is a comprehensive database of chamber music composers, works, events and related media.

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Works 43,350
Works with details 12,111
Composers 3,939
Women Composers 340
Nationalities 93
Audio / Video 25,451
Works with Audio / Video 5,936
Scores (public domain) 6,106
Glossary definitions 765
Program notes 228
Edition Silvertrust notes 344
Lists 25