February 7, 2015: The Fauré Piano Quartett


The Fauré Piano Quartett Photo: Matt Hennek

Dirk Mommertz, piano;
Erika Geldstezer, violin;
Sascha Frömbling, viola;
Konstantin Heidrich, cello


Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 8:00 PM


“Klavierquartettsatz” Piano Quartet in A minor

Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 15

Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25

Dear Friends,

The Fauré Quartett was formed in 1995. Like the Minguet String Quartett which we heard in October, they are on tour from Germany. We are fortunate to get a group of this calibre insomuch as there are surprisingly few professional piano quartets worldwide.

The programme includes a small early work by Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), composed and performed (with him as pianist) in 1876 when he was only sixteen. He was finishing his first year at the Vienna Conservatory and had just won two prizes for his Piano Quintet which he then promptly destroyed! He then picked up his pen to compose the Piano Quartet in A minor – of which only one movement exists called Quartettsatz – strangely not published until a hundred years later in the 1970s.  Everywhere on this clip you will be able to hear the glimmerings of the later, adult Mahler – the unrelenting emotion and incredible beauty. It is performed here by Quartetto Klimt:


The second work is by the ensemble’s namesake, Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). The Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op.15, his most popular chamber work, was finished in 1879. There are many clips on You Tube. The one I selected has pianist Robert MacDonald, a friend of Peter Vinograde. (The three of us just last week attended a concert together in Carnegie Hall to see pianist Stephen Hough.)

Here is the link for MacDonald’s performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_yL-uravWo

The final work is by Brahms (1833-1897). Even if his music were not beautiful and deservedly celebrated, we would at least appreciate his biting sarcasm. For example, studying a new piece brought to him by a young composer, Brahms asked: “Tell me, where did you get this splendid music paper?” The first public performance of the Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 25, was in 1862 in Vienna, with Brahms at the piano. After the performance, the leader of the quartet hailed him with words that stuck: “Here is Beethoven’s heir!” It is especially the final boisterous, almost wild, movement – Rondo in Gypsy Style – which captivates most audiences. The piece remains the most popular of his three piano quartets.

Here it is performed by Emmanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Isaac Stern and Yo Yo Ma.


J.F. (Reeh) Taylor

At Saturday night’s concert, we will pay tribute to one of Virtuosi’s Founding Directors, Reeh Taylor, to thank him for his dedicated service to the Winnipeg Arts Community and to Virtuosi Concerts.

Mr. Taylor, Senior Counsel with Taylor McCaffrey LLP, served as UWinnipeg’s long-time legal counsel and has contributed greatly to The University of Winnipeg and general communities. He was acknowledged by the Manitoba Bar Association with its Distinguished Service Award in 1993. Another achievement of Taylor’s was founding the Canadian Association of University Solicitors where he served as its first president.

He is also dedicated to the community and has served on many community boards that cover his diversified interests. A great supporter of the arts, Taylor was co-founder of Virtuosi Concerts Inc. and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and served on the board of Virtuosi Concerts for a decade. He is past-president of the Manitoba Opera Association, The Manitoba Club, the Winnipeg Executives Association and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

A ‘Renaissance man’ who loves law, literature, music and the arts, Taylor’s legacy is one of service to the community and leading by example. Taylor was born in Forest, Ontario. He attended Cardiff University in South Wales and the Law Society’s School of Law in London, England. He then came to Manitoba and attended Manitoba Law School and was called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1951. He is married to Pamela Maureen* and is the father of five. (UWinnipeg website)

Join us on Saturday as we celebrate Mr. Taylor’s 91st birthday (which was in January) and thank him for his contribution to the Winnipeg Arts Community.

See you soon,


*Pamela Taylor passed away on March 1, 2015