April 28, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

Musica da Camera, California State University, Bakersfield’s symphony orchestra, will present “An Evening of Chamber Music” on Saturday, May 8, at the First Presbyterian Church (17th and H streets) in Bakersfield, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Gordon Mehling, CSUB music professor, and conductor and artistic director of Musica da Camera, said CSUB music faculty member Charles Badami will join the Musica da Camera String Quartet for two major works of the repertoire: Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and the great Piano Quintet in F minor, Opus 34, by Johannes Brahms.

According to historical accounts, Mozart was commissioned by his publisher friend Franz Anton Hoffmeister in 1785 to write three quartets for piano and strings. In itself the form was unusual, the piano trio being the preferred chamber music idiom in Vienna at the time. Also unusual, was Mozart's treatment of the piano as an equal partner in the music. Other works of that period, with similar instrumentation, were generally constructed like miniature concerti, with the keyboard in an accompanying role.

The G minor quartet, completed that same year, did not sell well, perhaps because of its revolutionary style but more probably because of the challenging nature of its piano part. It is likely that the amateur musicians of the day found it entirely too difficult. According to Nissen, an early biographer of Mozart, Hoffmeister allowed Mozart to keep the cash advance for the three quartets on the understanding that he not write another.

The Brahms piano quintet is another ground-breaking piece and is considered the culminating work of Brahms’ first period.

Advance tickets for the May 8 concert are available at Russo's Books in The Marketplace shopping center, and will be available at the door the evening of the concert beginning at 7 p.m. Cost is $10 general admission, $7 for students and seniors, $3 for children under 10.

For more information, please call the CSUB Music Department at CSUB, (661) 664-3093.