Clarinetistas #3: Richard Mühlfeld (1856-1907)

Composto em 1890, o Quinteto de Cordas, Op.114, era para ter sido a última obra do compositor alemão Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). A ameaça acabou por não se concretizar e, inspirado pelas interpretações do clarinetista principal da Orquestra da Corte de Meiningen, Richard Mühlfeld, acabaria por escrever um bom conjunto de novas obras, entre elas 4 que incluem clarinete:

... Trio para piano, clarinete e violoncelo, Op.114
... Quinteto para clarinete, Op.115
... Sonata para clarinete, Op.120 Nº1
... Sonata para clarinete, Op.120 Nº2

Em Março de 1891 Brahms passou uma semana em Meiningen, e aproveitou para convidar Mühlfeld para tocar para ele numa audição privada. A coisa terá corrido muito bem pois, quando em Novembro desse ano Brahms regressou a Meiningen, trazia na bagagem duas prendas para Mühlfeld: os acima referidos trio para piano, clarinete e violoncelo e quinteto para clarinete.

Richard Mühlfeld nasceu há 161 anos, no dia 28 de Fevereiro de 1856.


Johannes Brahms
Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op.114.
Carl Frühling
Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op.40.
Robert Schumann
Marchenerzahlungen, Op.132.
Michael Collins (clarinete), Steven Isserlis (violoncelo), Stephen Hough (piano)
RCA Red Seal 09026-63504-2

Johannes Brahms
Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op.115.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Clarinet Quintet in A, K581.
Alfred Boskovsky (clarinete)
Membros do Wiener Oktett
Testament SBT1282

Johannes Brahms
Clarinet Sonatas - No.1 in F minor, Op.120 No.1; No.2 in E flat major, Op.120 No.2.
Felix Mendelssohn
Clarinet Sonata in E flat major.
Robert Schumann
Fantasiestück, Op.73.
Emma Johnson (clarinete), John Lenehan (piano)
Nimbus Alliance NI6153


Richard Mühlfeld
A Collaborative History of the Clarinet: Brahms / Mühlfeld / Mühlfeld's Clarinet / Wikipedia


Violoncelistas #14: Jan Vogler (1964-)

Heinrich Schiff (1951-2016), falecido há menos de 2 meses, além de violoncelista e maestro foi também professor, tendo contado entre os seus alunos Gautier Capuçon (1981-) e Natalie Clein (1977-). Um outro aluno de Schiff foi o alemão Jan Vogler, que hoje celebra o seu 53º aniversário.

Tal como no caso de Schiff, também Jan Vogler se notabilizou na interpretação das suites para violoncelo solo de Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), de que deixo alguns exemplos nos vídeos que incluo mais abaixo.


Gabriel Fauré
Piano Quintet No.2 in C minor, Op.115.
Robert Schumann
Piano Quintet in E flat, Op.44.
James Ehnes, Mira Wang (violinos), Naoko Shimizu (viola),
Jan Vogler (violoncelo), Louis Lortie (piano)
Sony Classical SK93038


Jan Vogler
Jan Vogler / Stresa Festival / Wikipedia


Poetas #12: George Meredith (1828-1909)

The Death of Chatterton é o nome de um quadro do pintor inglês Henry Wallis (1830-1916), terminado em 1856 e que representa a morte, por suicídio, do poeta, também inglês, Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770). O modelo para esse quadro foi o poeta George Meredith que, todavia, não terá ficado com grandes saudades do momento: é que 2 anos depois a mulher de Meredith deu à sola com o pintor...

Em 1881, George Meredith escreveu o poema The Lark Ascending, sobre o canto da cotovia:

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake,
All intervolv’d and spreading wide,
Like water-dimples down a tide
Where ripple ripple overcurls
And eddy into eddy whirls;
A press of hurried notes that run
So fleet they scarce are more than one,
Yet changingly the trills repeat
And linger ringing while they fleet,
Sweet to the quick o’ the ear, and dear
To her beyond the handmaid ear,
Who sits beside our inner springs,
Too often dry for this he brings,
Which seems the very jet of earth
At sight of sun, her music’s mirth,
As up he wings the spiral stair,
A song of light, and pierces air
With fountain ardor, fountain play,
To reach the shining tops of day,
And drink in everything discern’d
An ecstasy to music turn’d,
Impell’d by what his happy bill
Disperses; drinking, showering still,
Unthinking save that he may give
His voice the outlet, there to live
Renew’d in endless notes of glee,
So thirsty of his voice is he,
For all to hear and all to know
That he is joy, awake, aglow,
The tumult of the heart to hear
Through pureness filter’d crystal-clear,
And know the pleasure sprinkled bright
By simple singing of delight,
Shrill, irreflective, unrestrain’d,
Rapt, ringing, on the jet sustain’d
Without a break, without a fall,
Sweet-silvery, sheer lyrical,
Perennial, quavering up the chord
Like myriad dews of sunny sward
That trembling into fulness shine,
And sparkle dropping argentine;
Such wooing as the ear receives
From zephyr caught in choric leaves
Of aspens when their chattering net
Is flush’d to white with shivers wet;
And such the water-spirit’s chime
On mountain heights in morning’s prime,
Too freshly sweet to seem excess,
Too animate to need a stress;
But wider over many heads
The starry voice ascending spreads,
Awakening, as it waxes thin,
The best in us to him akin;
And every face to watch him rais’d,
Puts on the light of children prais’d,
So rich our human pleasure ripes
When sweetness on sincereness pipes,
Though nought be promis’d from the seas,
But only a soft-ruffling breeze
Sweep glittering on a still content,
Serenity in ravishment.

For singing till his heaven fills,
’T is love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes:
The woods and brooks, the sheep and kine
He is, the hills, the human line,
The meadows green, the fallows brown,
The dreams of labor in the town;
He sings the sap, the quicken’d veins;
The wedding song of sun and rains
He is, the dance of children, thanks
Of sowers, shout of primrose-banks,
And eye of violets while they breathe;
All these the circling song will wreathe,
And you shall hear the herb and tree,
The better heart of men shall see,
Shall feel celestially, as long
As you crave nothing save the song.
Was never voice of ours could say
Our inmost in the sweetest way,
Like yonder voice aloft, and link
All hearers in the song they drink:
Our wisdom speaks from failing blood,
Our passion is too full in flood,
We want the key of his wild note
Of truthful in a tuneful throat,
The song seraphically free
Of taint of personality,
So pure that it salutes the suns
The voice of one for millions,
In whom the millions rejoice
For giving their one spirit voice.

Yet men have we, whom we revere,
Now names, and men still housing here,
Whose lives, by many a battle-dint
Defaced, and grinding wheels on flint,
Yield substance, though they sing not, sweet
For song our highest heaven to greet:
Whom heavenly singing gives us new,
Enspheres them brilliant in our blue,
From firmest base to farthest leap,
Because their love of Earth is deep,
And they are warriors in accord
With life to serve and pass reward,
So touching purest and so heard
In the brain’s reflex of yon bird;
Wherefore their soul in me, or mine,
Through self-forgetfulness divine,
In them, that song aloft maintains,
To fill the sky and thrill the plains
With showerings drawn from human stores,
As he to silence nearer soars,
Extends the world at wings and dome,
More spacious making more our home,
Till lost on his aërial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.

O compositor inglês Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), deixou-nos várias obras em que musicou poemas de vários autores, nomeadamente A Shropshire Lad, de A. E. Housman (1859-1936) e Leaves of Grass, de Walt Whitman (1819-1892). Em 1914 foi então a vez de Vaughan Williams musicar The Lark Ascending, inicialmente numa versão para violino e piano, e posteriormente para violino solo e orquestra, sendo esta última a versão mais utilizada.

George Meredith nasceu há 189 anos, no dia 12 de Fevereiro de 1828.


Ralph Vaughan Williams
Symphonies 1-9. The Lark Ascending.
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
In the Fen Country. On Wenlock Edge.
London Philharmonic Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Bernard Haitink
EMI 5 86026-2

Ralph Vaughan Williams
The Lark Ascending.
John Tavener
Song for Athene. Dhyana. Lalishri.
Nicola Benedetti (violino)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrew Litton
Deutsche Grammophon 476 6198


George Meredith
Poetry Foundation / Poem Hunter / All Poetry / Wikipedia


Pianistas #49: Maria João Pires (1944-)

A pianista portuguesa Maria João Pires começou a dar recitais públicos ainda muito nova, com apenas 7 anos de idade. Fez os estudos musicais em Portugal, no Conservatório de Lisboa com o professor Campos Coelho (1903-1988), e depois na Alemanha, primeiro em Munique e em seguida em Hanover, com o reputado pianista e professor Karl Engel (1923-2006).

O reconhecimento internacional chegou com a sua vitória na Beethoven Bicentennial Competition em Bruxelas, em 1970. As suas estreias nos grandes palcos mundiais e com as mais conceituadas orquestras só aconteceriam bastantes anos depois, contudo: Londres em 1986, Nova Iorque em 1989, Salzburgo em 1990 (com a Orquestra Filarmónica de Viena e o saudoso maestro Claudio Abbado).

A estreia com a Orquestra Filarmónica de Berlim teve lugar no dia 5 de Fevereiro de 1991, passam hoje 26 anos. E é precisamente com Maria João Pires e essa orquestra que vos deixo nos vídeos que aqui incluo.


Maria João Pires
Askonas Holt / Gulbenkian Música / The Telegraph / Wikipedia