Beethoven Works for Cello and Piano; Music of Lowell Liebermann

Dear Music Lovers,

I am very happy to welcome cellist Colin Carr and pianist Tom Sauer to Bargemusic this Saturday, February 2nd at 8 pm and Sunday, February 3rd at 4 pm, in their concerts of Beethoven’s works for cello and piano.

Colin and Tom have been playing together a lot recently. I met Colin years ago in Amsterdam. He had just performed at the venue where I was to perform. I arrived at the place where I was supposed to stay just as he was leaving. It was a little guest house inside of a garden. I remember looking at him; he was sitting on a bed smiling, with his cello. There was no floor, just soil. There were bugs on the ground, and it was cold. I took one look at Colin in my so-called future place, and then I ran out of there. For the next few hours I looked for a hotel room. It was early morning. I found an old, simple hotel on the water. Late that evening, as I was practicing the second movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto, I saw from my window two beautiful white swans floating on the water in the darkness. I will always remember that.

The next time I saw Colin, we were both performing at a festival in the States. I heard him play, and I remember very clearly the very deep tone of his lower strings on the cello. Since then we have played together here and also in England. I always have great fun playing with him in different combinations. He’s been performing frequently at the Bargemusic venue. After every concert he always leaves something — his shirt, his shoes… Let’s see what he will leave this time.

This Friday, February 1st at 8 pm, our “Here and Now: American Contemporary Music Series” features the music of Lowell Liebermann. I met Lowell years ago at a chamber music party. I was trying to read his piano trio or his sonata for violin and piano. But whichever it was, I found it very pleasing. I enjoyed sight reading my part. Later on I had the pleasure of performing Mozart sonatas and Irish songs by Beethoven and Maria von Weber with Lowell and the wonderful Irish tenor Robert White (although he’s American). I think this Friday’s feast of Lowell’s music should greatly satisfy our appetites.

Lots of Love,
Mark Peskanov

5 Responses to “Beethoven Works for Cello and Piano; Music of Lowell Liebermann”

  1. Colin Carr Says:

    The complete works of Beethoven for piano and cello represent the three supposed periods of Beethoven’s life. The performance of these masterful and perfect pieces presents a challenge that instills excitement, respect, honor, privilege and of course, fear, into the process of learning and relearning them. Two centuries after they were written they remain the apotheosis of chamber music for the two instruments, scaling the heights and depths of human feeling. Whilst maybe not as awe-inspiring as playing all of the 16 string quartets, or, even more daunting, the 32 piano sonatas, I nevertheless see this music as a lifetime project to be worked and reworked, like having a sculpture in my garden that I can visit anytime I feel the urge to add a little bit here, remove a little bit there and invite my friends (that’s you) to come and admire in its present incarnation.

  2. Thomas Sauer Says:

    Colin and I have been working on the Beethoven sonatas on and off for nearly ten years now. The chance to play all of them on consecutive evenings is one not be missed, and we are excited to take it. Beethoven is one of those rare figures about whom much of the received wisdom is true. He struggled mightily in both his creative and personal life, and left a body of work of enormous depth and power. His cello sonatas find him mostly in high spirits: many of the movements are in major keys, tempos are typically brisk, and there is tremendous play between the instruments. Yet there is reflection and even tragedy as well. The short slow segment from the great A-major sonata is full of calm and lyric beauty, while the introduction to the G minor sonata reveals Beethoven in a terribly serious pose. A deep melancholy pervades the slow movement of the final sonata. This melancholy is dispelled, and thoroughly, by Beethoven’s first great fugal finale, a form to which he would return in ever more powerful ways in his late period. Misunderstood and maligned in Beethoven’s lifetime and for a good while thereafter, these fugal finales depict in an incredibly vivid way Beethoven’s titanic will power, as he pushed fugal technique farther than it can comfortably go and, crucially, farther than he himself could comfortably take it. Such was the spirit of the man.

  3. Lowell Liebermann Says:

    I had the great joy of performing with Mark last season at Bargemusic, and was delighted when he asked me to present a program of my own music for February 1st. My colleague/friends who will be joining me for the performance are a joy to play with: Stefan Hoskuldsson, principal flute at the Metropolitan Opera and one of the world’s great flautists (and about the nicest guy one could ever hope to meet) and the equally fantastic husband/wife team of cellist Tobias Werner and violinist Teresa Ling, with whom I had a blissful residency at their bucolic festival in rural Hot Springs Virginia — the Garth Newel Festival. Combine those performers with the wonderful venue that Bargemusic is, and it should be a great evening — at least it will be for me!

  4. AlexM Says:

    Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  5. player pianos Says:

    Hi,
    we can see that the complete works of Beethoven for piano and cello represent the three supposed periods of Beethoven’s life.And i found it very pleasing for violin and piano.