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Program I:
Perfect Fifths

Thursday, August 8, 2024 | 7:30 PM

Hannaford Hall, USM | Portland 

This enchanting evening opens PCMF’s 2024 summer season with pure joy in musical form. The Boccherini Cello Quintet is a Classical-era delight: fun and fresh, balancing gentle tunes (including a famous minuet) with the luxurious heft of lower string sounds. Dvořák’s Romantic quintet for piano and strings radiates grace and warmth, before blossoming into bursts of spontaneous celebration.

Luigi Boccherini String Quintet in E Major, Op. 11, No. 5 (1771)

I. Amoroso

II. Allegro e con spirito

III. Minuetto, Trio

IV. Rondeau, andante

David McCarroll and Jennifer Elowitch, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Angela Park and Brant Taylor, cellos

Antonín Dvořák Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81 (1887)

I. Allegro, ma non tanto

II. Dumka: Andante con moto

III. Scherzo (Furiant): Molto vivace

IV. Finale: Allegro

Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu and David McCarroll, violins; Melissa Reardon, viola; Brant Taylor, cello; Henry Kramer, piano


* Programs and artists subject to change

Concert run time is approximately 75 minutes with no intermission. The concert will be live-streamed for free on our YouTube channel. The archived stream will be available to view for 24 hours.

Meet The Artists

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Jennifer Elowitch

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Henry Kramer

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David McCarroll

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Angela Park

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Melissa Reardon

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Brant Taylor

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Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu

Meet The Composers

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Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Boccherini was an Italian composer and cellist of the Classical era whose music is often characterized by a courtly and galante style. At age 25 he moved to Madrid, entering into the services of Infante Luis Antonio of Spain. There, Boccherini flourished under royal patronage, until one day when the King expressed his disapproval at a passage in a new trio, and ordered Boccherini to change it. The composer, no doubt irritated with this intrusion, doubled the passage instead, which led to his immediate dismissal. He then moved to a little town in the Gredos Mountains in Ávila where he went on to write many of his most famous works.

The String Quintet in E Major, written in 1771, is famous for its minuet third movement, which is frequently played as a standalone piece outside of the context of the full quintet. This string quintet is a "cello quintet," meaning it's scored for a string quartet with a second cello as the fifth instrument. At the time of this composition, Boccherini had been writing string quartets for about ten years, primarily for the Font String Quartet. An accomplished cellist himself, the composer often joined the group as a performer, which prompted him to add an additional cello part to this piece.

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Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák was a Czech composer who frequently employed rhythms and other aspects of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia in his work, following the Romantic-era nationalist example of his predecessor Bedřich Smetana. Dvořák's style has been described as "the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences and finding effective ways of using them."

Dvořák's second piano quintet is acknowledged as one of the masterpieces of the form, along with those by Schumann, Brahms and Shostakovich. The work was composed as the result of the composer's attempt to revise an earlier work, the first Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 5. Dvořák was dissatisfied with the Op. 5 quintet and destroyed the manuscript not long after its premiere. Fifteen years later, he reconsidered and retrieved a copy of the score from a friend and started making revisions. However, he decided that rather than submitting the revised work for publication, he would compose an entirely new work. The new quintet is a mixture of Dvořák's personal form of expressive lyricism with elements from Czech folk music.

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