Three prominent members of the Nashville period instrument performance community will present a pair of concerts of trios for piano, violin and cello by the Classical Period triumvirate of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on Oct. 28 and 29. Violinst Karen Clarke, cellist Christopher Stenstrom and Lillian Pierson, fortepiano, will perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, in Turner Recital Hall, at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music in Nashville, and again on Monday, Oct. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Music Hall in the Wright Music Building on the MTSU campus in Murfreesboro. Admission at both concerts is free and open to the public.
A distinctive feature of the performance is the use of instruments that were in use at the time that the pieces were written, including a fortepiano, the late 18th-century forerunner of the modern piano.
“The instruments that we know today were altered significantly in the 19th century. This performance feature instruments from the end of the 18th century, during the Classical Period, the time that the music was composed. These artists will be recreating the style that the composers would have expected, so that the music may be heard in all its original color and clarity,” said George Riordan, director of the MTSU School of Music.
Lillian Pearson will perform on the fortepiano, an instrument with a tone that is lighter and softer than its familiar modern counterpart, but that is also capable of great expressive range and facility. Unlike later pianos with cast-iron frames, built from the mid-19th Century onwards, this fortepiano has an interior wooden frame and a simpler action with small hammers and dampers. While in the 18th Century the terms “pianoforte” and “fortepiano” were interchangeable, today the latter term is employed generically to refer to early versions of what we know as the piano. Pearson is a member of the MTSU Music faculty and is a staff accompanist at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt.
Violinist Karen Clarke is member of the faculty of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and cellist Christopher Stenstrom is a member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. All three are also members of Music City Baroque, Nashville’s period instrument ensemble.
Haydn: Trio in E Major, Hob. XV:28
Mozart: Sonata for piano and violin in F Major, K. 377
Beethoven: Trio in G Major, Op. 1, No. 2
For more information, visit mtsu.edu/music/calendar.php.