Arnold Schoenberg – Wind Quintet, Op. 26
Johann Sebastian Bach – Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 for string trio
Few works of art have cultivated beauty and rationality with such devotion and patience as the compositions on this program. Starting with Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet, the first great product of his revolutionary new method that allowed 45minutes of pristine music to evolve organically out of a single series of 12 pitches in ways that continually inspires a keen listener’s sense of memory and expectation. Two centuries earlier, Bach produced a similar ode to reason in his Goldberg Variations, a composition that extracts from the humblest of songs an hour’s worth of kaleidoscopic possibilities, including every manner of canon and counterpoint.