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Clara Schumann and Her Friends

Grinberg Classical Salon Series

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)

Clara Schumann and Her Friends

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2019, at 7 p.m. 



Dear Friends!

On Wednesday, December 18th, 2019, at 7 p.m., Eric, Laura and I are delighted to invite you to the grand SEASON FINALE in tribute to CLARA SCHUMANN AND HER FRIENDS. Clara Schumann (1819-1896), whose 200th birthday we celebrate this year, was one of the most distinguished musicians of the Romantic era. She was a child prodigy, a celebrated virtuoso pianist, a bold and imaginative composer, a meticulous editor, the beloved muse and wife of Robert Schumann, a dedicated mother of eight children, an influential teacher, a successful entrepreneur, and a great inspiration to so many of her contemporaries, including Mendelssohn, Chopin, Liszt, and most importantly her close life-long friend (if not lover!), Johannes Brahms. 

This final program of the Season is bookmarked by two of Clara Schumann's most poignant works, both in the key of G minor: her wistful Romance in G minor, op. 11 (1839) and her majestic Piano Trio in G minor, op. 17 (1846). Clara Schumann's melancholy Romance in G minor, op. 11, no. 2 (1839) was the second of the Three Romances, op. 11 that she dedicated to Robert Schumann and which was her last published work before her marriage to him the following year. "In your (G-minor) Romance, I heard anew that you complement me as a composer just as I do you," Robert wrote affectionately of it, which was his favorite Romance in the set.

Robert Schumann's short but stirring Intermezzo in D minor from the F. A. E. Sonata (1853) was the second of the four-movement F. A. E. Sonata for violin and piano (1853) - a collaborative project between Brahms, Schumann and Dietrich, intended as a surprise birthday gift for the violinist and friend, Joseph Joachim. Schumann later incorporated the Intermezzo as the slow movement of his rarely-played Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor, WoO 2 (1853) as a short and touching farewell that begins in D minor but surprisingly concludes in F Major (!)

An avid admirer and a dear friend of Clara Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist, and conductor who wrote some of his greatest works, such as the incidental music to Midsummer Night's Dream and the Octet, while still in his teens. He composed his first Piano Trio - a four-movement work in C minor - even before his teenage age 11 (!) His official Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, op. 49 (1839), composed 20 years later, reveals a perfect fusion of the Romantic spirit and Classical forms and genres to which Mendelssohn was deeply committed, and is considered to be one of his finest and most beloved chamber music works. Robert Schumann, who reviewed the revised version of this work with its bracingly virtuosic piano part, proclaimed Mendelssohn as "The Mozart of the 19th century, the brightest musician, who most clearly understands the contradictions of the age and is the first to reconcile them."

The second half of the program will open with Brahms' heavenly Andante from his Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, op. 83 (1878-81), in the seldom-heard arrangement for cello and piano. Brahms, who was Clara's lifelong friend (if not her lover!), included an extensive cello solo in the slow movement of his second Piano Concerto, no doubt inspired by Clara Schumann's youthful Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 7 (1833) whose Romanza is unusually scored only for cello and piano.

The program - and the Season at large - will conclude with Clara Schumann's magnificent Piano Trio in G minor, op. 17 (1846) - Clara's only chamber music work aside from her later Three Romances for violin and piano, op. 22 (1853) - considered to be her finest and most substantial large-scale masterwork since her earlier Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 7 (1833) that is a "forthright and vigorous musical statement" (Nancy Reich) that shows "Clara's craftsmanship at its peak" (Joan Chissell). The Trio unfolds in four movements: an elegiac Allegro moderato filled with many richly chromatic harmonies and distant modulations, a charming and graceful Scherzo and Trio, to be played in the Tempo di Minuetto, a Waltz-like and bittersweet Andante in the style of a Romanza, and a dramatic Allegretto finale, with its thorny fugato in the development section that pays homage to J. S. Bach and which greatly impressed Felix Mendelssohn. 

Don't miss this poignant SEASON FINALE in tribute to Clara Schumann and Her Friends!!!

Eric, Laura, and I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday, December 18th!

Warmest wishes for the holidays,

Dr. Yelena Grinberg, founder and artistic director of the Grinberg Classical Salon Series

WHEN: Wednesday, December 18th, 2019, at 7 p.m.

          Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. 
          There will be no late seating
          Food-and-wine reception to follow the performance

WHERE: Private Residence on Upper West Side (upper 90s)

          You will receive the exact address of the salon after you register through this website


          Admission price includes the wine-and-hors d'oeuvres reception with the guest artist(s)
          Attendance is limited to just 21 guests
          Note: Advance ticket purchase through this site is required for admission.

CONTACT: Yelena Grinberg (



CLARA SCHUMANN - Romance No. 2 in G minor, op. 11 (1838-39)
ROBERT SCHUMANN - Intermezzo in D minor for violin and piano from F.A.E. Sonata (1853)
FELIX MENDELSSOHN - Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, op. 49 (1839)
BRAHMS - Andante from Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major for cello and piano (1878-81)
CLARA SCHUMANN - Piano Trio in G minor, op. 17 (1846)

Have questions about Clara Schumann and Her Friends? Contact Grinberg Classical Salon Series

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When & Where

Upper West Side

New York, NY 10025

Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)

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Grinberg Classical Salon Series

A one-of-a-kind, intimate and enlightening, series of Classical music salon concerts in NYC's Upper West Side (upper 90s), followed by a food-and-wine reception with the guest artist(s).

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