Dear Friends and Members of the Sydney Schubert Society,
I am pleased to remind you about our forthcoming Schubertiade on May 4 2014 commencing at 2.30pm at St. Peters Presbyterian Church in North Sydney. The program for this Schubertiade features the internationally renowned Australian Harp virtuoso Alice Giles who has been celebrated as one of the world’s leading harp soloists. The Australian-born musician first attracted international notice when she won First Prize in the 8th Israel International Harp Contest at the age of 21. Since then she has performed extensively both in recital and with orchestras in Europe, America, Australia, and Israel. She presented her first solo recital at the age of 13 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, was awarded the coveted Churchill International Fellowship and an Australia Council Grant to study in the USA and made her New York debut recital at Merkin Hall in 1983.
Together with the Sydney Schubert Ensemble, Alice Giles will perform the rarely heard Quintet for harp and strings in c minor by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Hoffmann (1766-1822) was a most influential writer of the 19th century whose literary works inspired musicians and writers throughout the century and beyond. A person of remarkable intelligence and comprehensive talent–he was a lawyer, a musician, important music critic and composer, an artist (draftsman and caricaturist) and a prolific writer-Hoffmann’s novels had a seminal impact on literature and music. With an important essay on Beethovenin 1810, his importance for the reception and interpretation of this composer continues to be considerable. His own opera “Undine” achieved success at the time of its conception but composers such as Schumann and Brahms would establish their artistic identity through significant references to his much more popular literary works and figures who achieved cult-status in the 19th century. (eg. Schumann’s Kreisleriana). Expanding the horizon of literary imagination to encompass horror, the bizarre, the fantastic and at times challenging the boundaries of normality and sanity, Hoffmann became a founding father of Romanticism. His writing introduced challenges to conservative standards of politics and morality at the time as they explore the ambivalence of the human psyche with often dramatic, frightening and catastrophic consequences.
In addition to Hoffmann’s Quintet and Sonata Concertante in D op 115 for harp and violin by Louis Spohr, our Schubertiade will also feature two works by Franz Schubert: the delightful, if hauntingly mysterious Sonatina in g minor (D 408) and the Introduction and Variations D 802. Although originally scored by Schubert for flute and piano, these will be performed on this occasion by violin and piano.
I am looking forward to welcoming you to the Schubertiade on the May 4 (2.30 pm) at St Peters Presbyterian Churchand ask you to spread the word about our Schubertiades and the society to your family membersand friends,
With cordial, Schubertian greetings,
President, Sydney Schubert Society Inc.