Early Music Studio presents
Broadwood Grand: Beethoven and Friends Have Coffee
Susan Adams, antique piano | Clive Titmuss antique mandolin, period guitar
Sunday, April 9 at 2:30 pm
Kelowna Forum, 1317 Ethel (at Cawston), in Kelowna
Kelowna Tickets Orchard Park Mall, Annegret’s Chocolates Towne Centre Mall,
and online at www.brownpapertickets.com
We’re used to thinking of classical music as serious stuff, but that’s actually not an accurate picture. Back in the early 19th Century Vienna of Beethoven and Schubert, plenty of music took place in cafés and people’s houses. So Early Music Studio’s next concert at the Kelowna Forum focuses on the lighter music written by serious composers with this audience in mind.
If any composer has a reputation for being irascible, it is Beethoven. But when he was young, he was a sociable prodigy who had many friends. Some of his earliest successful pieces were written for those in his circle to play in the informal atmosphere of the café. The concert treats listeners to a menu of his rarely-heard pieces for mandolin and piano.
The mandolin was a popular instrument at the time all over Europe, partly because it was small and portable, and its sound carried well in a crowd. Beethoven’s delightful “Sonatinas” are played on an instrument donated to the Studio in nearly wrecked condition, but restored to plinky life by luthier and fretted wizard Clive Titmuss.
In honour of the original owner of the mandolin, a ship’s engineer from Glasgow who plied the South China Seas and played it to pass the time, Clive and Susan play their arrangements of well-known Scottish folk songs.
Early keyboard specialist Susan Adams plays one of Beethoven’s most popular pieces, The Tempest, and both players unearth some charming and nearly unknown duos for piano and guitar, another café favourite combination, by Weber and Diabelli: the latter both Beethoven’s friend and publisher.
She plays a restored original 1809 Broadwood, almost identical to one that Beethoven owned. Around 1812, some of Beethoven’s students resident in London purchased a fine English-action grand from John Broadwood, and shipped it to the composer as a gift. Broadwood in turn hoped for an endorsement from Beethoven, then the most famous artist of any kind in Europe. Beethoven cherished the powerful and expressive instrument until his death.
The wealth of music from which the Studio has to work is a testament to the popularity of both guitar and piano as solo instruments around the beginning of the 19th Century. The enduring legacy of the music is the main reason the instrument is still called the “classical” guitar when played with the fingers. But when the two modern versions of these instruments play together, it’s not a happy marriage, as the piano easily drowns the guitar out. Period instruments restore the balance to this charmed duo, instruments that match so well, it is sometime impossible to tell who played what.
This performance takes place in the new Kelowna Forum, a renovated church on the edge of the urban core. The design of the building is perfect for intimate and informal music-making and the entry has been configured especially to allow the audience to take refreshment before and during the show. This concert supplies all the ingredients to enjoy the music to while sipping coffee on a sunny Sunday in downtown Kelowna.
The Society of Friends of the Early Music (EMS) is a registered non-profit organization operating in Kelowna, dedicated to the performance of, and education about music written before about 1850 played on period instruments. Executive Directors Susan Adams and Clive Titmuss produce historically-informed concerts, videos and recordings as they play on a variety of keyboards, guitars and lutes in their collection. A survey of their work in these media appears on the Portfolio page at www.earlymusicstudio.com/portfolio. The Society receives support from the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Foundation, The Province of BC, and private donors.
Tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com
Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, no. 2 “The Tempest” by Ludwig van Beethoven
Divertimento for Guitar and Piano by Carl Maria von Weber
Two Nocturnes by John Field
Troisième Fantasie pour Guitare Seule by Fernando Sor
Sonatine for Mandoline and Piano by Beethoven
Two Scottish Folksongs for Mandolin and Piano (arr. Adams)
Sonata no. 60 in C for Pianoforte by Josef Haydn
Sonatine for Guitar and Piano by Anton Diabelli
We hope you enjoy these video previews to the concert, prepared by Early Music Studio.
Clive and Susan discuss and demonstrate the Broadwood 1809.
Clive and Susan play two movements of a rare piece by Weber.
Clive plays a restored 1850 mandolin with Susan on the Broadwood.
Curious about what one of our concerts are like? You can see more photos from previous concerts on our Facebook page.