Brahms and Beyond
Cello Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99
Violin Sonata No. 1, Op. 78 (arr. Paul Klengel)
"I have loved the music of Brahms since I was a teenager and have been studying and practicing his music for 40 years—I wish I had another 40 to understand it better! For this project, bridging Brahms's time and our own, we have asked four composers for something a bit unusual: to include a theme of Brahms in their pieces. We are hoping that this idea is an inspiring starting point for them. It is a great privilege to be able to participate in concerts devoted to Brahms's music, and that of some exceptional composers of our time, with the great artists Anne Sofie Von Otter and Yo Yo Ma."
The superlative pianist Emanuel Ax brings a new project to Berkeley that simultaneously celebrates one of his most profound musical influences and revels in the creativity of some of the most exciting composers working today. For Program Two of Brahms and Beyond, Emanuel Ax is joined by his longtime duo partner, superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma, for two Brahms cello sonatas and new works by Swedish composer Anders Hillborg and the Australian composer Brett Dean. Ax and Ma won a Grammy for their Beethoven and Brahms recordings, and in their most recent performances together, they were hailed for "a unity of approach and gesture that made every item a true duo...with Ma's sense of spontaneity matched by Ax in every note" (The Guardian, London).
Program One: Emanuel Ax and Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano
*Cal Performances co-commissions, Bay Area premieres
Program notes are available online. [PDF]