Violinists Janine Jansen and Boris Brovtsyn, pianist Lars Vogt, viola player Amihai Grosz and cellist Jens Peter Maintz perform Antonin Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81 during the openings concert of the International Chamber Music Festival 2019 in Utrecht.

Antonin Dvořák: Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81 – Janine Jansen – International Chamber Music Festival 2019
The musicians:
Lars Vogt [piano]
Janine Jansen, Boris Brovtsyn [violin]
Amihai Grosz [viola]
Jens Peter Maintz [cello]

Founded in 2003 by Janine Jansen, the International Chamber Music Festival Utrecht (Dutch: Internationaal Kamermuziek Festival Utrecht) is an annual event between Christmas and New Year featuring a different guest programmer each year. The Dutch violinist and violist Janine Jansen took this role in 2019. International top musicians, as well as young chamber music ensembles, come to Utrecht to perform a programme ranging from chamber music classics to lesser-known repertoire and specially written commissions, family events, late nights, films and chamber music jam sessions.

Dvořák – Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s (September 1841 – 1 May 1904) Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81, B. 155, is a quintet for piano, 2 violins, viola, and cello. It was composed between August 18 and October 8, 1887, and was premiered in Prague on January 6, 1888.

There are four movements:

  1. Allegro, ma non tanto The first movement opens quietly with lyrical cello theme over piano accompaniment which is followed by a series of elaborate transformations. The viola introduces the second subject which is another lyrical melody, but much busier than the cello’s stately line. Both themes are developed extensively by the first and second violins and the movement closes with a free recapitulation and an exuberant coda.
  2. Dumka: Andante con moto The second movement is labeled Dumka which is a form that Dvořák famously used in his Dumky piano trio and features a melancholy theme on the piano separated by fast, happy interludes. It follows the pattern A-B-A-C-A-B-A where A, in F-sharp minor, is the slow elegiac refrain on piano with variations, B is a bright D major section on violins and C is a quick and vigorous section derived from the opening refrain. Each time the Dumka (A) section returns its texture is enriched.
  3. Scherzo (Furiant): molto vivace The third movement is marked as a Furiant which is a fast Bohemian folk dance. The cello and viola alternate a rhythmic pizzicato underneath the main tune of the first violin. The slower trio section of the scherzo is also derived from the furiant theme, with the piano and violin alternating between the main melodies. The fast Bohemian folk dance returns and the movement finishes aggressively, setting up for the polka in the last movement.
  4. Finale: Allegro. The Finale is light-hearted and spirited. The second violin leads the theme into a fugue in the development section. In the coda, Dvořák writes tranquillo for a chorale-like section, which features the theme of the movement this time in augmentation and played pianissimo, before the pace quickens with an accelerando, and the quintet rushes to the finish.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

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