The Chicago Ensemble 42nd Season, Program I

Lecture Series

Sunday, November 4, 2018


International House Assembly Hall

Offering an innovative mix of familiar masterworks and lesser-known repertoire performed in varied combinations of instruments and voice, the Chicago Ensemble has occupied a unique place in Chicago's cultural life for over 40 years.

Piano trios by the great composers of the Classical period make up The Chicago Ensemble’s first program in the group’s ambitious 42nd season. Haydn’s Trio No. 12 in E Minor, Hob. XV:12, Mozart’s Trio in Bb Major, K. 502 and Beethoven’s Trio in C Minor, op. 1 no. 3 are to be performed by the group’s pianist and artistic director, Gerald Rizzer, joined by violinist Stephen Boe and cellist Andrew Snow, both of whom have had a long association with the Ensemble.  

The three trios being performed are among the very finest of this genre. Haydn, better known for his symphonies and string quartets, wrote many fine piano trios. The first movement of the E Minor displays the composer’s imaginative and often surprising handling of contrasting motives; the second movement is very rich and expressive; and the third movement shows Haydn’s playful energy, as well as his mastery of form. Mozart’s Bb Major trio exemplifies the composer’s ability to move from light-hearted to profound within a few measures. The first movement, although written in sonata-form which usually entails two or more themes, is mostly based on the opening theme. A florid and highly expressive slow movement follows and then a finale that is mostly playful but at times more dramatic.  Beethoven’s three trios of op. 1 were the composer’s entrée to Viennese society. His teacher, Haydn, was present. All three are masterworks showing the composer’s extraordinary grasp of motivic development. While Haydn’s influence can be seen in all of them, the C Minor has a dramatic intensity setting Beethoven apart from his mentor.

The concert will be preceded by a complimentary reception.


Tickets: Free for students with a valid UCID | $30 General Admission | $10 Students.

Presented by the Global Voices Performing Arts Series and The Chicago Ensemble.