Johannes Brahms – Sonata in E-flat major for viola and piano, Op. 120 No. 2
Matthew Lipman, Andrew Armstrong
Bohuslav Martinů – Three Madrigals for violin and viola, H. 313
Scott St. John, Sharon Wei
Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Trio in D major, Op. 70 No. 1 “Ghost”
Sean Lee, Efe Baltacıgil, Joyce Yang
While he originally composed the Sonata in E-flat major for the clarinet, Brahms later transcribed the piece for viola to take advantage of the instrument’s lower register.
With only two instruments, Martinu creates an incredible range of tonal color and mood. The second piece is incredibly tender, and the finale hides several musical jokes, including a reference to Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony.
The slow middle movement gives the “Ghost” trio, one of the most famous of all piano trios, its nickname. The haunting melody is said to be inspired by the opening scene of Hamlet.