Mozart, Schumann & the Tales of Hoffmann

Mozart, Schumann & the Tales of Hoffmann


Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 7:30pm

Bohemian National Hall

321 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021

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Philippe Quint violin
Grace Park violin
Zlatomir Fung cello
Matthew Lipman viola
Kyle Armbrust viola
Vsevolod Dvorkin piano
Illustrated talk by Damian Fowler


Mozart String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K. 516
Schumann Piano Quintet in E flat major, Op. 44 


‘One hardly dares breathe when reading Hoffmann,’ said Schumann of the great writer in whose work the borderlines between dream and reality, art and life, the natural and the supernatural so often become blurred. From Hoffmann, Schumann borrowed the titles of some of his best-known piano pieces – KreislerianaFantasiestückeNachtstücke – while the young Brahms signed some of his early compositions ‘Kreisler Junior’, in homage to the fictional musician created by the author. Hoffmann’s tales inspired ballets by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker) and Delibes (Coppélia), as well as operas by Offenbach, Busoni (Die Brautwahl) and Hindemith (Cardillac). Hoffmann himself was also a composer, and his proto-Romantic opera Undine was praised by Weber. His influence as a writer, meanwhile, was felt as far afield as France, Russia and America, those who fell under his spell included Baudelaire (for whom he was simply ‘the divine Hoffmann’), Balzac and Maupassant, as well as Dostoevsky, Pushkin and  Gogol, and Edgar Allan Poe.