The ECO chamber music concert on Monday evening April 13th is designed as a unique celebration of both the aesthetic and therapeutic value of music. While much is known about how music influences mankind on the hedonic level, little is generally known about how music is actually experienced in the brain and how it can be specifically directed to actually help rebuild neural networks that may be damaged due to disease or accident. This concert event seeks to bridge this gap in the form of an artistic event designed to create beautiful music in a traditional concert setting, while also raising awareness of the benefits of music in a therapeutic setting. Entertaining while educating, that’s what this week is about for interested ECO audience members!
The first half of the performance features the beautiful Piano Quartet in E flat composed by Robert Schumann. The Quartet was composed in the year 1842, Schumann’s “Chamber Music Year” when his probable bi-polar disorder was working in extreme harmony with his compositional efforts. The influence of Schumann’s compositional alter egos, the dreamer Eusebius and the outgoing Florestan are evident in all four movements of the work. Eusebius is particularly present in the achingly beautiful theme of the third movement of the piece, which then transitions into a vigorous and contrapuntal fourth movement finale where Florestan triumphantly shines through. Unfortunately it would only be a dozen years after this composition was completed before Schumann’s neural afflictions eventually became too powerful to live with and he was driven to a suicide attempt, afterwards sending him to an asylum for the duration of his days. Joining me in this quartet will be Music Director Matthew Kraemer, violin, Jennifer Jansen, viola, and special guest Paul Miahky, cello.