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Auditorium Chamber
Music Series

875 Perimeter Dr. MS 4015
Moscow, ID 83844-4015

Phone: (208) 885-7557

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Morgenstern Trio

Morgenstern TrioTuesday, Oct. 28 | 7:30 p.m.

"Sheer unbelievable virtuosity" - Achener Zeitung

Catherine Klipfel, Piano
Stefan Hempel, Violin
Emanuel Wehse, Violoncello

As a triumphant finale to a very successful year 2009, the Morgenstern Trio was awarded the prestigious Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award, the big international award for piano trio. The prize includes more than 20 concerts in the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, New York, and a CD production.

"A sigh went skating on nocturnal ice." It has long been known that the poetry of Christian Morgenstern is filled with music. However, it was not until the 90th anniversary of the poet's death before a chamber music ensemble decided to name themselves after him.

The three musicians of the Morgenstern Trio (Stefan Hempel, violin; Catherine Klipfel, piano; Emanuel Wehse, violoncello) joined forces in 2005 at the Folkwang Academy in Essen. In 2007, after only two years of intensive collaboration, the trio was awarded several important prizes: first prize at the International Joseph Haydn Competition in Vienna, second prize at the Fifth Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and second prize and the audience prize at the prestigious ARD Competition in Munich. The previous year they had already won a sought-after scholarship at the German Music Competition. Most recently, the trio was named "ensemble in residence" for 2008 and 2009 at the Folkwang Academy in Essen.

The Morgenstern Trio has already made a name for itself in concert halls across Germany, particularly through the "Bundesauswahl Konzerte Junger Künstler" and the "Best of NRW" concert series. The ensemble has been invited to festivals such as the Pablo Casals Festival in Prades, France, the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Heidelberger Frühling, the WDR Musikfest, and the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival in Finland.

Numerous radio broadcasts including BR, SWR, NDR, WDR, HR, ORF, and ABC Classic/Australia radio stations document the trio's work. The ensemble's debut CD of works by Beethoven and Brahms was released in 2008.

Learn More About The Morgenstern Trio

Masterclasses with the Morgenstern Trio
Stefan Hempel, violin
Emanuel Wehse, cello
Jonathan Aner, piano

Piano - 2:00 - 3:20 p.m. in the Haddock Performance Hall
Violin - 2:30 - 3:20 p.m. in the University Auditorium
Cello - 2:30 - 3:20 p.m. in Music Room 117


Notturno in E flat Major, D. 897, Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 67, Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
I. Andante
II. Allegro con brio
III. Largo
IV. Allegretto


Variations on “Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu", Op.121a, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
I. Introduzione. Adagio assai
II. Tema. Allegretto and 10 Variations

Piano Trio in C Minor, Op.101, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
I. Allegro energico
II. Presto non assai
III. Andante grazioso
IV. Allegro molto

Program Notes

While Schubert’s first instrument was the violin, the piano became his instrumental voice early in his career. His piano trios, dating mostly from late in his creative life, generally exhibit the increasing importance of the piano as an ensemble instrument during the early Romantic period. The Notturno in E-flat Major may have been intended as the slow movement of the B-flat Trio of 1827, but it was ultimately published as a stand-alone composition, perhaps because of its length. It alternates between a lyric and almost timeless A section in which the violin and cello often move in parallel motion, and a more expansive B section in which imitation and rapid figuration in the piano part play a significant role.

The emotional language of Shostakovich’s second piano trio, written 1944, is so stark and direct that no exegesis of the work is really necessary. Shostakovich constantly struggled to subdue his modern style to conform to the expectations of the Socialist Realism mandated during the Stalinist period. In this work, the subject may have “excused” his powerful language. Here he pays homage to friends and colleagues, victims of the Holocaust and those who fell at the Battle of Leningrad. The last movement of the Trio revisits the major themes of the previous ones and also presents a new theme: a Jewish melody to which the composer returned in his later String Quartet No. 8, a work that he dedicated to “the victims of fascism and war.” Shostakovich was at the piano for the 1944 Leningrad premiere of the trio.

The theme of Beethoven’s variation set is a song by Wenzel Müller, which translates as “I am the tailor Cockatoo,” and the tune itself is as simple and silly as Beethoven’s initial presentation thereof. This work dates from about 1803, quite early in the composer’s career. Scholar Lewis Lockwood posits that Beethoven returned to this composition a few times later in his life, extensively reworking the introduction and the transition from the last variation to the finale. This reworking is apparent in the stylistic contrast between the variations themselves, which are mostly ornamental and clearly classical in style, and the more contrapuntal texture and wide-ranging harmonies of the introduction and finale, which are typical of works in Beethoven’s later style, e.g., his Ninth Symphony.

Brahms’ conception of chamber music with piano is evident from the opening notes of his third and final piano trio: Compared to the earlier works on this program by Beethoven and Schubert, his style is expansive, magisterial, and almost orchestral in its conception. The dramatic first movement (structured in sonata form) is followed by two rather brief and light interior ones. The third movement alternates between duple and triple meters, a rhythmic interest that continues in the final movement with strong hemiolas (rapid juxtaposition of duple and triple divisions of the measure) towards the end of the first theme. This sonata form movement unifies the entire work with its brief reference to the major theme of the trio’s first movement. The trio was premiered in Budapest in 1886 with Brahms at the piano.

Season tickets are now on sale through Idaho Marketplace or at (208) 885-7557, and assure admission to sell-out concerts. The Auditorium Chamber Music Series receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Idaho Commission on the Arts, the Western States Arts Federation, and the Idaho Community Foundation.

Single Ticket will available for sale at BookPeople in Moscow, on-line through, and at the door. Ticket prices are $10 for students, $19 for seniors, and $22 for general admission.

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