Joanna MacGregor, Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
Past Event
Classical Music

Joanna MacGregor - New Worlds

Mon 13 Sep 2021

Ruth Rogers and Nicky Sweeney violins
Jon Thorne viola
Peter Adams cello
Joanna MacGregor piano

Gershwin Lullaby for String Quartet; Summertime
Amy Beach Piano Quintet in F sharp minor Op.67
Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat major Op.44

In association with Brighton Dome and Strings Attached, Brighton Philharmonic’s chamber players combine a first half of American music with Schumann’s glorious Piano Quintet.

George Gershwin’s Summertime was arranged multiple times by the composer, and is partnered by his lovely, bluesy Lullaby for string quartet, written when he was nineteen. We follow it with Amy Beach’s mighty 1907 Piano Quintet, music of unabashed élan and Brahmsian beauty. Born in New Hampshire, Amy Beach was an international concert pianist and composer of symphonies and choral works, chamber and solo pieces, her productive career spanning more than fifty years.

Beach’s orchestral romanticism is a legacy of Schumann’s life-affirming Piano Quintet, written in 1844. His wife Clara was to premiere this, but illness meant that Felix Mendelssohn stepped in, sight reading the ‘fiendish’ piano part, helping revise the quintet afterwards. At a time when chamber music was leaving the salon for the public sphere, Schumann reinvented the form as quasi-symphonic, resulting in this impassioned, evergreen masterwork.