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Usually, we are treated to music by the magnificent students from the Shanghai Conservatory. From time to time, however, the professors come out to give us a rare treat. September 24th at 4pm at Glam will be such a moment (tickets and program below!).

Playing will be Jensen Lam, Associate Dean at the Conservatory and head of the Viola and Chamber Music Departments. He is the very founder of L’Ensemble les Amis (ELA) and the driving inspiration behind this Crystal Chamber Music series at M on the Bund. Jensen is an award-winning and internationally recognized musician and for ten years the principal violist of the Spanish National Radio Television Symphony, the pre-eminent orchestra of Spain.

We welcome back Juan Manuel García-Cano, Professor of Oboe at Suzhou University. Juan-Manuel is an award-winning musician as well and has played with major orchestras all over Europe and in Asia.

Joining us for the first time is Qiuning Huang who also teaches at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Qiuning studied at both the Shanghai Conservatory and at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Also an award winning musician, Qiuning is frequently in demand in China and at music festivals across the United States.

The combination of Piano, Viola and Oboe is not common in the world of chamber music. It really does not appear until the last half of the 19th Century. But the sensual combination of these sounds makes for wonderful listening. We will hear three masterpieces from three composers who were famous in their day and, while no longer household names, continue to appear regularly in chamber music programs.

All three works we will hear have been inspired by poetry. The synthesis of music and poetry was very much in favor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries continuing an aesthetic trend that had been largely inspired by Franz Liszt and his thirteen Symphonic Poems.

The first work is Charles Martin Loeffler’s (1861-1935) evocative and languorous Two Rhapsodies for Piano, Oboe and Viola. The two movements, The Pond and The Bagpipe are inspired by Maurice Rollinat, a French poet and singer of the Decadent Movement. He sang his songs in cabarets such as the famous Le Chat Noir in Montmartre. (You can find the poem L’etang in French here: ). With this music, we are clearly in the sumptuous sound world of Cesar Frank and Gabriel Faure with exotic hints of Debussy and Ravel. Loeffler, a violinist, was born in Berlin but claimed to be Alsatian because of his dislike of Prussian authorities. He moved to America and ended up sharing the Concertmaster position at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was highly regarded as a composer with his works being conducted by Richard Strauss and Toscanini. Highly cultured with refined taste, Loeffler was friends with the likes of Faure, Busoni, Gershwin and John Singer Sargent whose portrait of Loeffler I will show at the concert.

The late Romantic English composer, Joseph Holbrooke (1878-1958), would likely be much more famous today if he had not had such a difficult, hypersensitive personality. He became increasingly dismissive and contemptuous of both his audiences and critics and they eventually turned away from him. However, he left behind a formidable body of work that is gradually finding its way back into the repertory.   Holbrooke’s frequent poetic muse was the American, Edgar Allen Poe. Holbrooke wrote over thirty pieces of music, from large symphonic works to piano solos, inspired by the macabre American writer. We will hear his Fairyland based on Poe’s deliciously obscure poem of the same name. You can read it here:

Finally, We will hear the somewhat earlier German Romantic composer August Klughardt (1847-1902). He studied piano as a child and eventually became music director in a number of cities around Germany including Weimar where he befriended Franz Liszt. After that meeting Klughardt became of advocate of the New German Music movement as typified by Liszt and Wagner, although Klughardt‘s personal style retained some the classical elements of the music like that of Brahms and Schumann. The work we will hear is a suite of fantasies inspired by Reed Songs, a group of five poems by the famous Austrian Romantic poet Nikolaus Lenau. Lenau had also been a muse for Liszt in his Mephisto Waltzes. In these fantasies we can clearly hear the influence of Liszt and Wagner. You can read Lenau’s Reed Songs (Schilflieder) in German and English here:

So there we have it! Some very original programming with three professors, three composers and three poets all for the price of one! Mark your calendars. I look forward to seeing you all on September 24th at 4:00 pm at Glam!

Bob Martin

Shanghai Chamber Music Lovers – Shanghai Conservatory’s Atelier of Chamber Music
Crystal Chamber Music    Ensemble Les Amis-Shanghai

Sunday September 24th, 2017 4:00pm
Tickets 85 rmb includes a drink, Students 40 rmb

Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935)
Deux Rapsodies Pour Hautbois, Alto et Piano;
1. L’Étang 池塘
2.La Cornemuse 风笛

Joseph Holbrooke (1878-1958)
Nocturne Fairyland for Oboe, Viola and Piano

August Klughardt,
“Schilflieder” for Oboe, Viola and Piano Op.28
(nach Gedichten von Lenau)
1. Langsam, träumerisch 缓慢、如梦似幻
2.Leidenschaftlich erregt 激情的

III. Zart, in ruhiger bewegung 温柔的慢板
1. Feurig 火热的
2. Sehr ruhig 非常安静的

The Performers
Piano: Huang Qiuning 黄秋宁
Oboe: Juan Manuel Garcia-Cano
Viola: Jensen Horn Sin Lam 蓝汉成

Ticket Type Event Details Price
Adult September 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM ¥ 85.00 CNY
Students September 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM ¥ 40.00 CNY