Chamber music is truly the most socially exquisite and democratic activity in which musicians, professional and amateur, can participate. One's level of skill matters not. Get together with a couple of friends and make music. Even Kings have participated with lesser mortals. It just doesn't get any better than this.
Goethe described the playing of a quartet as "four rational people conversing." And indeed, the conversational style is most prevalent in chamber music with one instrument speaking, then another, then a third. it is delightfully courteous musical form and just plain makes you feel good, unless of course there is disagreement on how something should be played which can happen even in the best of all possible worlds.
But whether we are talking about sonatas for piano and one other instrument, piano trios, piano quartets or piano quintets, it is all music in which the piano plays a princely role. If one loves the piano, as I do, how can one not be thrilled by the versatility of this magnificent instrument in consort with others?
In this section we will enjoy comparing specific works of chamber music, much as we do in the interpretation section. Again the differences of approach can be huge. And as so many of the great composers achieved their finest hour in their chamber works, often much less well known than their major works for solo piano or orchestra, I hope this will bring the joys of discovery to many of you.
Arensky Piano Trio in D minor Op 32
Beethoven Piano Trio 7 Op 97 "Archduke"
Brahms Piano Quartet 1 in G minor Op 25
Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor Op 34
Brahms Piano Trios Op 8 / Op 87 / Op 101
Brahms Trio for piano, violin and horn in E flat Major Op 40
Chausson Concerto for violin, piano & String Quaret
Dvořák Piano Trio 3 in F minor Op 65
Dvořák Piano Quintet in A Major Op 81
Fauré Piano Quintet 1 in c minor Op 15
Hindemith Violin Sonata 3 in E (1935)
Rachmaninov Cello Sonata in G minor Op 19
Schumann Piano Trio 1 in D minor Op 63
Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat Major Op 47
Shostakovich Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
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