Saturday 17 February - 7.30 p.m.

Februari Festival zaterdag 17 februari 2018
Februari Festival zaterdag 17 februari 2018

A Grand Soiree

Quartetto di Venezia, Van Baerle Trio, Antje Weithaas, Royal Conservatory The Hague Strings, Jeannette van Schaik, a.o.

Tonight’s festive soiree will also feature some larger ensembles on the concert stage. You could imagine that this programme (or part of it) could have been performed during one of the many private concerts that took place at the home of the Mendelssohn family in Berlin. Robert Schumann was a frequently seen guest here. Mendelssohn Senior had made an entire chamber orchestra available to his son that would enable him to immediately try out his newest compositions – and those of his contemporaries.

LOCATION: Nieuwe Kerk


Quartetto di Venezia
Shihyun Lee - piano
Van Baerle Trio
Antje Weithaas - violin
String players of the Royal Conservatory
Jeannette van Schaik - soprano
Maria Fiselier - mezzo soprano
Jan-Willem Schaafsma - tenor
Hans Pieter Herman - bass
Peter Nilsson & Jan-Paul Grijpink - piano


Felix Mendelssohn: Prelude & Fugue, Op. 35 No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn: Andante & Scherzo, Op. 81
Robert Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn: Variations sérieuses, Op. 54
Felix Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 9
Fanny Mendelssohn & Clara Schumann: duets en terzettos
Robert Schumann: Spanische Liebeslieder, Op. 138


When Mendelssohn’s heirs discovered four separate movements for string quartet among his unpublished manuscripts, they simply put them together and had them published as a single work, Opus 81, in 1850. However, none of these movements belong together: the keys do not correspond to one another, and they were clearly composed in varying periods of Mendelssohn’s career. The Andante and the Scherzo both date from 1847, the year in which Mendelssohn died.

Despite the fact that he never became a concert pianist, we can nevertheless consider Robert Schumann to be one of the most significant romantic composers of piano music. Of his piano trios, the first, in D minor, is the best-known. It is sometimes said that Schumann was the first to give the piano trio, which up until then had been a rather formal genre and bound to many rules associated with the classical style, a highly personal structure.

Felix Mendelssohn composed 13 symphonies for string orchestra between the ages of 12 and 14. They were regularly featured at the Sunday morning concerts held at the home of the Mendelssohn family. The ninth, also known as the Swiss Symphony, derives its inspiration to a yodelling song that Felix had heard just before, during a holiday in Switzerland. It became the theme of the third movement.

Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn’s father obliged her to concentrate on fulfilling her future role as a wife and mother from the time she reached the age of fourteen. The public performance of music in concert halls and the publication of compositions were not considered to be feminine activities in those days. Unfortunately, this resulted in her oeuvre being limited primarily to songs, duets and trios, and piano works, as these could easily be performed during concerts given at home. Several of her songs were published under the name of her brother.

Just as you would suspect from their title, Robert Schumann’s Spanische Liebeslieder (Spanish Love Songs), Opus 138 bear a strong resemblance to his Spanisches Liederspiel, Opus 74. Both are based on fifteenth and sixteenth-century folk songs and romances, translated by the linguist and poet Emmanuel Geibel from Spanish into German (with the necessary poetic license). They are modest, little songs about love and loss, scored for one to four voices in various combinations and an accompaniment for piano four-hands. They are seldom heard in the concert hall.

* Programme is subject to possible changes.



Wednesday 14 February - 8.15 p.m.

February Festival 14 February 2018

Presenting Fanny & Felix Mendelssohn and Clara & Robert Schumann

Thursday 15 February - 8.15 p.m.

February Festival 15 February 2018

Romantic highlights

Friday 16 February - 8.15 p.m.

February Festival 16 February 2018

Robert and Felix join hands

Saturday 17 February - 7.30 p.m.

February Festival 17 February 2018

A grand soiree

Sunday 18 February - 3.00 p.m.

February Festival 18 February 2018

Autumn and spring