Dvorak - “American” String Quartet in F major, Op. 96
Copland - Sextet for clarinet, string quartet and piano
John Williams - Elegy for cello and piano
Korngold - “Much Ado About Nothing” Suite, Op. 11, for violin and piano
Dvorak was greatly influenced by the music of America during his time as Director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Several of his works reveal these influences, most famously the “New World” Symphony but also this wonderful string quartet. The Copland Sextet was written in 1937 in attempt to make his “Short Symphony” more approachable and therefore to have it performed more often. He succeeded brilliantly! John Williams expanded a fragment from his film music for “Seven Years in Tibet” to produce this touching elegy to commemorate the tragic death of two children. Wolfgang Erich Korngold was a prodigy almost to rival Mozart although he wrote tonight’s exhilarating piece at the ripe old age of 20 for the Burgtheater in Vienna. He was subsequently to become one of Hollywood’s most famous writers of film music, although not perhaps so ubiquitous as John Williams.