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In April 2020, in an attempt to provide a little relief during a time of "social distancing," we began posting short pieces of music from our archives as well as videos of artists who have performed for CMS. Usually these are encores, short sections from longer works, or unusual musical performances. Musical Moments will continue bi-weekly online during our 2021-2022 live concert season.

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A note to our visitors: This Musical Moments series currently hosts nearly 100 audio players and several dozen video players. Depending on your internet connection speed, it may take a few moments for your audio to begin playing. We are currently retrofitting these pages to eliminate this delay.

January 22, 2021

The Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet played their concert on Sunday January 9th, in Sunset Center, Carmel. The concert included works by Joseph Haydn, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Felix Mendelssohn.

Listen to the Dover Quartet playing in the concert, the third movement of Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 3 Op.44 (Playing time 7:22)

Photo of the Bennewitz Quartet

January 1, 2022

The Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet is still scheduled to play at 3pm, on January 9th, in Sunset Center Carmel. The concert includes works by Joseph Haydn, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Felix Mendelssohn. Tickets can be purchased here.

Click below to listen to the 2nd movement, Adagio, from Samuel Barber's String Quartet, Op. 11.
(Playing time 7:48)

Photo of the Dover Quartet

December 18, 2021

The Dover Quartet

The Dover Quartet is scheduled to play at 3pm, on January 9th, in Sunset Center Carmel. The concert includes works by Haydn, Zemlinsky and Felix Mendelssohn. Tickets can be purchased here.

Listen to the quartet playing the finale from Dvorak's, "American" quartet. (Playing time 5:39)

December 4, 2021 

Beethoven and the Piano

Beethoven, by the age of 25, was an established piano virtuoso. To make his transition to composer he wrote three piano trios Op1, and three solo piano sonatas Op 2. In the first of these (No.1), the final movement "prestissimo", has a calm, lyrical center section with stormy impassioned writing at each end.

This format predicts much of his later compositions.

Here is that final section. (Playing time 7:19)


Ludwig van Beethoven

November 20, 2021

George Li - The Other Encore

The previous 'Musical Moment' featured pianist George Li's second encore from his October 24 CMS concert.

After he had performed works by Bach, Beethoven and Franz Liszt, his first encore was an étude also by Liszt: "La Campanella"

This étude is famous for being one of the most difficult pieces ever written for piano.

"La Campanella" from Six Études after Paganini  (Playing time 4:16)

    Photo of George Li

November 6, 2021

George Li

On October 24 2021, in a Society concert, pianist George Li performed works by Bach, Beethoven and Liszt (B Minor Sonata).

In response to audience standing acclaim, he then played two encores, Here is the second.

"Dance of the Blessed Spirits" from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice
by Christoph Gluck  (Playing time 3:22)

    Photo of George Li

October 23, 2021

Louis Lortie

In April 2014, in a Society concert, Canadian pianist Louis Lortie performed superbly, all 27 of the Chopin études.

In response to great audience acclaim, he then played as encore a Chopin waltz.

Waltz in G-flat Major Op.70 #1 (Playing time 2:10)

    Photo of Louis Lortie

October 9, 2021

Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas

Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) wrote 555 solo keyboard sonatas throughout his career.

Circulated irregularly in his lifetime, these are now recognized as a significant contribution which pushed both the musical and technical standards of keyboard music.

Here are three selections played by Dubravka Tomsic (Piano).

 1 Longo catalog, L 104 C major ( 2:08)
 2 Longo catalog, L 349 G major (2:36)
 3 Longo catalog, L 391 A major (2:50)
Domenico Scarlatti

September 25, 2021

Three Gymnopédies by Erik Satie

Erik Satie (May 1866—July 1925) was a French composer. He is mainly remembered today for his best known musical compositions; the three piano pieces which he called Gymnopédies. A name derived from Greek athletics, (which these pieces are not.) The first of these pieces is a simple tune over a gentle accompaniment. The other two are similar, though not as well known.

Satie was very important in the development of music in France in the late 19th and early 20th century. He used new ways of composing such as very chromatic music and Minimalism.

These ways of writing music became more common later in the century.

Listen to Trois Gymnopédies, played by Daniel Varsano. (d.1988)

Erik Satie
 First (Well known. Playing time 3:35)
 Second (2:41)
 Third (2:34)

Sept 11, 2021

Schubert Serenade

Schubert's "serenades", eight pieces for solo piano, were composed in 1827. (He died November 1828)

The name 'Impromptus' was given to them by the publisher.

Published in two sets of four, Op. 90, (D899), and posthumously in 1839 as Op.142, (D935,) they are considered to be among the most important examples of this early 19th-century genre.

Here is the third piece from Op 90, a classic example of Schubert's outstanding lyrical facility. Wonderful listening for quiet reflection.

 Serenade Opus 90 Nr. 3 (Playing time 6:18)

Franz Peter Schubert

Also can be seen here: video from Youtube by Khatia Buniatishvili

August 28, 2021

"Serenade" attributed to Joseph Haydn

In his full career, Joseph Haydn wrote sixty-eight string quartets.

His authorship of the six quartets Op.3 has been questioned, since his publisher was known to increase sales by attributing the works of others to Haydn.

Here is "Serenade," the second movement of #5, played by the Budapest String Quartet.

 Quartet Op. 3 #5, Movement 2 (Playing time 3:47)

spacer A flattering portrait of Franz Josef Haydn

August 14, 2021

Anderson and Roe

Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Roe, duo pianists, were scheduled to play for CMS audience on April 25, 2021.

Their concert was cancelled as was the whole season.

Here is an eclectic performance by them of the "Turkish March"

 Sonata No. 11 K331, Movement 3 ("Alla Turca") (Playing time 3:20)

Much more music on their website here...

  Anderson and Roe

July 31, 2021

Mozart Copies Haydn

The young Mozart learned of fugal composition from music by Bach and Handel.

He composed String Quartets, based on works by Joseph Haydn.

Example: Op 20 No. 5, Mvt. 4 Finale: Fuga a due sogetti

Two of Mozart's early quartets also include a fugal section:

 No. 8, K168, Mvt. 4, Allegro (Playing time 2:04)

 No. 13, K173, Mvt. 4, Allegro moderato (Playing time 3:21)

Felix Mendelssohn

July 17, 2021 

The Moonlight Sonata

The Piano Sonata No. 14, Op. 27, No. 2, composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, was completed in 1801 and dedicated to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. (The "Immortal Beloved" perhaps ?)

The popular name "Moonlight Sonata " originated from a critic's remark after Beethoven's death. The movements are:

 I. Adagio sostenuto ( 7:01) 
 II. Allegretto (2:11) 
 III. Presto agitato (6:59) 
Astrid Schween

July 3, 2021 

New York Chamber Soloists

In a Carmel concert given in October 2015, The New York Chamber Soloists played the Septet, Op. 20 by Beethoven, and the Octet, D.803, by Franz Schubert (pictured here just before he wrote his "Stabat Mater in G minor" on his left hand).

In a live excerpt from that 2015 concert, listen here to the conclusion of the Schubert Octet. (Playing time 7:46)


Franz Peter Schubert

June 19, 2021 

Astrid Schween and Randall Hodgkinson

In a concert given in February 2012, Astrid Schween (cello) accompanied by Randall Hodgkinson (piano) included music by Chopin, César Franck and Beethoven.

Here is Beethoven's Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69.

 1. Allegro ma non tanto (12:55) 
 2. Scherzo. Allegro molto (5:21) 
 3. Adagio cantabile – Allegro vivace (8:32) 
Franz Anton Hoffmeister, 1806, portrait by Nikolaus Lauer

June 5, 2021   Our 60th Musical Moment

Anton Hoffmeister

In March 2013, the "New Esterházy Quartet" played a benefit concert for CMS. The music included works by Mozart and Anton Hoffmeister, who were both composers and friends.

Hoffmeister was also a music publisher, of his own works and those of many contemporaries including Mozart, who dedicated his String Quartet K.499 to him.

Here are two examples from the 2013 concert.

Mozart, Quartet in D, K.499, Allegretto (Playing time 7:10)

Hoffmeister, Quartet in F minor, Allegro molto (6:26)

Franz Anton Hoffmeister, 1806, portrait by Nikolaus Lauer

Franz Anton Hoffmeister
Portrait by Nikolaus Lauer, 1806

May 29, 2021

Mozart by Liszt

Like many composers of his times, Franz Liszt composed arrangements, for his own virtuoso piano performance, on themes from many operas including those of Berlioz, Donizetti, Verdi, Wagner, and others.

Here, is an exemplary performance by Louis Lortie, of Liszt's interpretation of "Là ci darem la mano", the duet for the characters Don Giovanni and Zerlina in Mozart's opera 'Don Giovanni'. (Playing time 11:13)

Also, Lorte's amazing playing of Listz's arrangement of Wagner's Tannhauser' overture (Playing time 15:40)

Portrait of a youthful Franz Liszt

May 22, 2021

Finkel, Han, and Beethoven

David Finkel and Wu Han have played for the Carmel Music Society on many occasions, the first in 2004. They have donated a recording (made in 1998) of their performance of all Beethoven's compositions for cello and piano. Here are two short pieces from their CD. (approx. 7 minutes each)

Opus 66, Variations in F Major on the aria "Ein Mädchen oder ein Weibchen" from Mozart's The Magic Flute

Opus 69, Sonata Number 3 in A Major, movement #3, Allegro Vivace

spacer David Finkel and Wu Han in concert

May 15, 2021

John Field

John Field (1782 –1837) was an Irish pianist, composer and teacher. He was born in Dublin into a musical family. He studied in London under Muzio Clementi, and became a famous and sought-after concert pianist.

He was very highly regarded by his contemporaries and his playing and compositions influenced many major composers, including Chopin (Rondo Opus 1), Brahms, Schumann, and Liszt.

Field is best known as the inventor of the nocturne, though probably this was a posthumous accolade. He composed eighteen. The first two are here:

Photo John Field.

Click the image to hear a movement of Field's piano concerto No. 1

 Nocturne Nr. 1 (Playing time 3:34)   Nocturne Nr. 2 (4:20)