Endymion has a range of programmes, ranging from a feisty trio of jazz-inspired works, to the quintessential Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets, to exquisite paring of Brahms and Ligeti, to boisterous, central European favourites by Dohnányi, Martinu and Brahms.
If you are interested in any of these programmes, or if you would like to engage Endymion to perform any other repertoire, please get in touch here. We have an extensive list of classical and contemporary repertoire that we have performed in all sorts of venues and festivals. All programmes can be preceded with a short pre-concert talk, with musical excerpts, if required.
1. From New Orleans to Moscow
A feisty programme of music all inspired in some way or another by jazz and folk music. The sumptuous Ravel sonata conjures up the blues with some exotic harmony. Ravel’s sonata directly inspired Bartok’s trio, which was written for jazz clarinettist Benny Goodman and revels in quasi-folk melodies and Hungarian dances. The Armenian folk melodies in Khachaturian’s trio evoke the mysticism and romance of Arabia, while Stravinsky steals the show with a gritty ragtime romp with a wild finale.
Ravel – Violin sonata no. 2 in G major
Bartok – Suite for clarinet, violin and piano “Contrasts”, Sz.111
Khachaturian – Trio for clarinet, violin and piano in G minor
Stravinsky – The Soldier’s Tale suite (trio version)
Brahms – Sonata for Clarinet & Piano No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
Mozart – Trio for clarinet, viola & piano in E flat major “Kegelstatt”, K. 498
2. Hommage à Brahms
An illuminating programme that really takes the listener on a spiritual journey. From the joyous chirrups of the violin in one of Beethoven’s most famous works to the poignant, heavenly stillness of the end of Ligeti’s masterful horn trio. Ligeti’s inspiration was not the hunting calls and folk tunes in the outer movements of Brahms‘ horn trio, but the second movement, a deeply moving elegy to the memory of his mother.
The Guardian said of a recent performance of this programme at the Southbank Centre:
“The [Ligeti] trio is intriguingly subtitled “Homage to Brahms”. And, though there is nothing nostalgic or anecdotal about Ligeti’s music, it’s still fascinating to hear it programmed alongside Brahms’s own Horn Trio Op 40, as it was in this recital by three members of Endymion – horn player Stephen Stirling, violinist Krysia Osostowicz and pianist Michael Dussek. The two works follow four-movement plans, and a mood of melancholy pervades both. Ligeti’s final adagio is a lament that eventually evaporates in ominous bass notes and fragmentary themes; Brahms places his great emotional outpouring third, before the bucolic finale. Both are haunted, too, by the sound of the natural horn, for which Brahms originally wrote his work (though Stirling sensibly played it on a modern valved instrument), and whose harmonics give a special tang to Ligeti’s harmonies.
‘The Endymion performances had a wonderful assurance about them, technical and musical, as if pairing these two distinctive masterpieces was the most natural thing in the world.”
Beethoven – Violin sonata no. 5 in F major, “Spring Sonata”, Op.24
Ligeti – Trio for horn, violin and piano, ‘Hommage à Brahms’,
Brahms – Trio for horn, violin and piano in E flat major, Op.40
3. Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets
This is one of our favourite programmes, both to play and for our audiences. In his quintet, Mozart basks in an unusually wide range of moods and textures, bringing enormous richness from his themes. Philip Venables’ short prelude is a thought-provoking, reverent exploration of the opening few bars of the Mozart. Darker, yearning autumn colours in the Brahms Quintet make a sublime contrast.
The Guardian said, about a recent performance at Wigmore Hall: “Brahms’s extraordinary Clarinet Quintet…was performed after the interval, in an intense performance that rightly hovered between yearning and bitterness. The clarinettist, Mark van de Wiel, was immaculate in his negotiation of the thin line between suavity and strident anger on which the work depends.”
Venables – K, a prelude to Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet.
Mozart – Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A major, “Stadler”, K.581
Brahms – Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115.
4. Piano Quartets
One of Endymion’s newest programmes, which focuses on the piano quartet. Mozart’s G minor piano quartet is widely agreed to be the first great ensemble work written for the new keyboard instrument, and the Dvorak Piano Quartet is its perfect companion piece.
Martinu – String Trio No. 2, H238
Mozart – Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478
Dvorak – Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87
5. Prokofiev, Mozart and Dohnányi
Endymion’s larger programme of pieces with unusual instrumentation. It features Dohnányi’s Sextet, a lively, colourful mix of timbres and tunes, Prokofiev’s beautiful Overture on Hebrew Themes, as well as Mozart’s Horn Quintet.
Prokofiev – Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34 (clarinet, string quartet & piano)
Mozart – Horn Quintet (violin, two violas, cello & horn)
Dohnányi – Sextet in C major (clarinet, horn, piano & string trio)
6. Quartet for the End of Time
Endymion has performed Olivier Messiaen’s chamber masterwork – written in a German prisoner-of-war camp – many times, and devotes the entire programme to it.
Some successful past performances have included appropriate readings or poetry.
Messiaen – Quartet for the End of Time
7. Piano & Winds
Two classical piano quintets, one in homage to the other, share the programme with works by French composers, writing much later, and and with fewer constraints of form. Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite takes the best, most evocative, moments from his ballet, and Poulenc’s Sextet is full of fun.
Mozart – Quintet for piano and winds in E flat major, K.452
Ravel – Mother Goose Suite (arr. Nissen)
Beethoven – Quintet for piano and winds in E flat major, Op. 16
Poulenc – Sextet for piano and winds.
8. Shostakovich and Elgar
This new Endymion programme highlights Shostakovich and Elgar’s only works for the piano quintet instrumentation – both wonderful pieces, which deserve to be heard more. The programme also features Schnittke’s String Trio, which was written as a commemoration of Alban Berg’s centenary.
Shostakovich – Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Schnittke – String Trio for violin, viola and cello
Elgar – Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84
9. Czech Mates
Endymion’s Czech programme starts off with two duos from key Czech composers – Janacek and Martinu – and in the second half all four players come together for Dvorak’s wonderful Piano Quartet.
Janacek – Pohadka for cello and piano
Martinu – Three Madrigals for violin and viola, “Duo No. 1”, H313
Dvorak – Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 87