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Fall into the magical world of chamber music with intimate performances featuring the works of some of your best-loved composers. Gain a renewed and much more personal perspective on the music you love with these small ensemble performances featuring the skillful members of the SSO.
SEPTET IN EFLAT MINOR OPUS 20
L. Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
ADAGIO-ALLEGRO CON BRIO
TEMPO DI MINUETTO
TEMA CON VARIAZIONI-ANDANTE
SCHERZO; ALLEGRO MOLTO E VIVACE
ANDANTE CON MOLTO ALLA MARCIA
SEPTET NO. 2 ‘MILITARY’ OP. 114
J. N. Hummel (1778-1837)
ALLEGRO CON BRIO
J. Sibelius (1865-1957)
BEETHOVEN’S SEPTET IN E FLAT MINOR
During the 18th century serenades and divertimentos were the favourite pop music of the aristocracy. These light and frothy offerings were often used as underscoring for tea parties and society gatherings and every working composer from local hacks to the likes of Mozart and Haydn composed them. Beethoven’s Septet in E flat minor, written in 1799 and first performed in 1802, is one of the finest examples of a complete Serenade, much to the composer’s chagrin. The great master bristled when this piece’s popularity seemed to eclipse some of his more profound masterworks, but it is impossible not to love the youthful charm which gives it universal appeal. It continues to be one of the most performed chamber works in the world. Perhaps Beethoven’s early followers weren’t such philistines after all.
Revered as one of the central composers of his native Finland, Jean Sibelius also drew on the influence of other more musically central lands during his formative years. He used this internationally grounded approach to bring Finnish music to the forefront and began composing works inspired by his native experiences as a Finn.
En Saga, written shortly after the composer’s wedding, was one of the first of these works. Sibelius said of the piece; En saga is an expression of a state of mind. I had undergone a number of painful experiences at the time and in no other work have I revealed myself so completely. It is for this reason that I find all literary explanations unreasonable.
Some of Hummel’s finest chamber works were written during the 1820’s, and while his Septet #2 may not have gained the fame of some of his early works, it is nevertheless a fine example of the genre. Military themed works were all the rage in Vienna at the time and Hummel’s work is evocative of an encampment, particularly his use of the trumpet in the fast movements, adding militaristic colour and flare to the work.