Ever since the great Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari perfected the design of the violin in the early 18th century, violins, violas, and cellos have become the dominant instruments of the chamber repertoire. So self-sufficient are they that in a program such as this, the ubiquitous piano is not even missed. Looking past and around the industry-standard string quartet, this unique program showcases three types of string ensemble for which composers of many ages wrote some of their most brilliant and popular works. Beethoven’s early string trios show him sharpening his compositional teeth for his coming Op. 18 string quartets, and this trio, his first, is in every way as dazzling as many of his later works. Mozart virtually invented the viola quintet – he himself liked to play second viola – and his six string quintets still sit at the heart of the chamber repertoire. And without the two mammoth string sextets of Brahms, one would never have known how three pairs of violins, violas, and cellos could pack the sonic and emotional punch of the world’s most beloved symphonies. 
Beethoven | Trio in G major for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 9, No. 1 
Mozart | Quintet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello in C minor, K. 406 
Brahms | Sextet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Two Cellos No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18 
Stella Chen, violin 
Ani Kavafian, violin 
Hsin-Yun Huang, viola 
Paul Neubauer, viola 
Mihai Marica, cello 
David Requiro, cello 

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