Alfred Schnittke was a Soviet composer of German Jewish descent, and his ancestry reflected heavily in the music he wrote. In particular, his three-year residency in Vienna immediately after World War II impressed on him both the classical Viennese style of Mozart and Schubert and the newfangled modernism of Schoenberg and Berg that had started in that city. When the Alban Berg Foundation commissioned Schnittke to write a piece for the composer’s centennial in 1985, Schnittke responded with his String Trio, a sad and desolate piece that is often taken as Schnittke’s memorial to himself — a few weeks after the work premiered, Schnittke suffered a series of strokes that led to him being pronounced dead on three separate occasions. (Years later, he adapted the piece for piano trio and dedicated it to the doctor who saved him.)
The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth opens its season with the Díaz Trio and pianist Gloria Chien. Smartly, they pair up Schnittke’s Schubertian String Trio with a piano trio by Schubert in a concert entitled Welcome to My Music Room to evoke the small scale of the works on offer. Rounding out the program is Fauré’s First Piano Quartet, a youthful work that showcases both the French composer’s assured handling of form and the emotional turmoil lurking underneath the work’s highly polished surfaces.
Welcome to My Music Room starts at 2pm Sat at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Tickets are $25-35. Call 817-877-3003.