A Little Fun

Quentin Metsys (1466–1530). The Purchase Agreement, 1515, oil on oak. Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany. © Joerg P. Anders/Staatliche Museen, Berlin/Art Resource, NY

Concert Program VII

A Little Fun

“Papa” Haydn’s legendary sense of humor can be heard throughout his oeuvre, from the playful Surprise Symphony to the mischievous conclusion of the Joke Quartet. The crafty use of comedy as a means of expressive depth has continued to animate Western music throughout the ages. Charles Ives, notorious for his music’s joyfully irreverent spirit, subtitled his Piano Trio’s riotous scherzo TSIAJ—This Scherzo Is a Joke. No less wicked are Dmitry Shostakovich’s Polka for String Quartet and Moz-Art, Alfred Schnittke’s impish homage to the past master.


Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
String Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 33, no. 2, Hob. III:38, The Joke (1781)
Charles Ives(1874–1954)
Piano Trio, op. 86 (ca. 1909–1910, rev. ca. 1914–1915)
Alfred Schnittke(1934–1998)
Moz-Art for Two Violins, after Mozart K. 416d (1976)
Dmitry Shostakovich(1906–1975)
Polka for String Quartet (1931)
Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
Symphony no. 94 in G Major, Hob. I:94, Surprise (1791) (arr. Salomon)
Wednesday 5Aug 2020