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chamber Music


Brahms / M. Barenboim – Bell – Power – Kanneh-Mason – Shani
Only on the Verbier Festival stage would you witness such a starry ensemble as Joshua Bell, Lahav Shani and Michael Barenboim performing with Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Lawrence Power.

Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major Op. 78
(Bell, Shani)

Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34

Brahms wrote the first of his three violin sonatas during the summers of 1878 and 1879. Its mood was described by prominent music critic of the day, Eduard Hanslick, as being of “resigned reconciliation”, which feels spot on: calm and anxiety rub shoulders in the first movement with its unusual 6/4 key signature; the Adagio opens major-keyed and hymn-like, but moves to dark E-flat minor; the final movement quotes both the Adagio, and two of Brahms’s earlier songs, ‘Nachklang’ (Reminiscence) and ‘Regenlied’ (Rain Song), before ending in peace. The four-movement Piano Quintet in dark F minor, whose grandeur Clara Schumann loved, was initially cast in 1862 as a string quintet with two cellos; and at the end of its Scherzo there’s a clear homage to Schubert’s great String Quartet, where a dramatic D flat precedes the final C chord.