Monday: Pianist Kevin Class Tackles the Brahms Piano Quartets

Program Six: Kevin Class plays the Complete Chamber Music with Piano

Monday, October 19, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall
Natalie L. Haslam Music Center
University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Pianist Kevin Class

Pianist Kevin Class

University of Tennessee School of Music faculty pianist Kevin Class has gradually been working his way through a recital series of the chamber music of Johannes Brahms that include the piano for several seasons now. This coming Monday, October 19, he covers two of Brahms’ piano quartets, the C-minor opus 60, and the G-minor, opus 25. (printed materials have incorrectly stated ‘opus 20′)

Class’ ensemble for the quartets will consist of faculty players from some regional universities: cellist Christine Kim of MTSU, and violist Andrew Braddock and violinist Ching-Yi Lin of Western Kentucky University.

The opus 60 quartet began life in C-sharp minor in the years of his early twenties at a time when Brahms was conflicted by the mental illness of his friend Robert Schumann and his love for Clara Schumann. The work was set aside for some 17 years before Brahms returned to revise and complete it in the key of C-minor for a first performance in 1875. The work has been sub-titled “Werther” due to   Brahms’ description of the quartet (and himself) in terms similar to Goethe’s character, Werther, in the novel The Sorrows of Werther.

The opus 25 quartet in G-minor was the composer’s first and, by general reckoning, his most popular. This popularity is due in some regard to the building of emotion and density throughout, climaxing with the addictive finale movement, Rondo alla Zingara, or “Rondo in the Gypsy Style.”