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Darkness to Light

Sunday 21 May, 2023
Albert Hall, Yarralumla, 2pm

CSO Chamber Ensemble

Clara Schumann
Piano Trio in G minor, op. 17

Antonín Dvořák
Piano Trio No. 2 in G minor, op. 26

$42–49 Adults
$38–44 Concession (means-tested pensions)
$35 Under 35
$17 Student rush 

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Abstract graphic showing green, red and blue paint

It’s often said that without darkness, we would not perceive the light. Derek Jarman was fascinated by these seeming opposites, the way their interplay shapes our perception of colour and form.

The most beautiful, compelling music is that which allows us to hold two opposites in tension: to embrace darkness and light, joy and despair, major and minor.

An accomplished pianist, Clara Schumann’s idiomatic G minor piano trio highlights her intimate understanding of the instrument’s sonic capabilities. Composed during a challenging season of her life, this work is nonetheless beautiful, dramatic and even playful at times. Her husband, Robert Schumann, composed his first piano trio a year later; the two were often performed together.

Composed in the same key, Dvořák’s Second Piano Trio was similarly composed at a painful moment in his life. The largo second movement hints at a funeral march, drawing great emotional depth from limited musical material.

So, too, is this piece a work of powerful contrasts: the slow movement is preceded by a bold, opening Allegro and followed by an energetic, dancing Scherzo. The fourth and final movement is elegantly crafted, exultant and ultimately uplifting.