Chamber Music Course

6/9/2009 - 7/28/2009, Tuesday 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

This course celebrates chamber music other than the oft-studied string quartet and solo keyboard repertoire. We will examine the dynamics of various groupings and the evolution of form from the classical era to the explosion of new possibilities in the post-romantic era. Works include (but are not limited to): Haydn trios, Mozart string quintets, Beethoven trios (including the “Archduke”), Schubert trios, Brahms quintets and sextets, and a look at the duo sonata (keyboard and solo instrument) as a genre.

Week 1: Mozart and Haydn

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Mozart violin sonatas featuring the E Minor sonata and A Major Sonata K. 526.

Haydn piano trios in A flat, F Shart Minor and E Major (28th) featured.


Week 2: Mozart and Beethoven

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  • Mozart’s A Musical Joke
  • Mozart string quintets
  • Beethoven violin sonatas featuring No. 10 in G Major.


Week 3 - Beethoven and Schubert

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Beethoven and Schubert, the piano trios.


Week 4: Schubert and Mendelssohn

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Schubert String Quintet; Mendelssohn chamber works.


Week 5: Schumann, Brahms and Dvorak

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Schumann Piano Quintet; Brahms Piano Quintet; Dvorak Piano Quintet


Week 6: Janacek, Brahms, Franck, Faure

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The reemergence of chamber styles ensuant to the first romantic generation: Janacek, late Brahms, Franck Piano Quintet, Faure’s chamber works.


Week 7: The Cello

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Solo cello sonatas and suites by Kodaly and Britten; Debussy Cello Sonata, Shostakovich Second Trio and Piano Quintet


Week 8: Post-Romantic and Postwar

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Primacy of chamber music in post-romantic and avant-garde styles, economic and social evolution of public music. Webern, Boulez and the European avant-garde; Crumb, Sessions, Carter and postwar America

Chamber Music Class Menu



Main Class Page

Printable Syllabus: PDF format | RTF format


These materials are optional, and if you purchase through these links it will help support this website.

For recommended recordings, including some of the materials played in class, check the syllabus under each week.


  • Guide to Chamber Music

    by Melvin Berger

  • 19th-Century Chamber Music (Routledge Studies in Musical Genres)

    by Stephen Hefling

  • 20th Century Chamber Music (Routledge Studies in Musical Genre)

    by James McCalla

  • Adams to Zemlinsky, A Friendly Guide to Chamber Music

    by Lucy Miller

  • Beyond the Notes : Journeys with Chamber Music

    by Susan Tomes

  • Brahms and His World (The Bard Music Festival)

    Princeton University Press

  • The Romantic Generation (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)

    by Charles Rosen

  • The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

    by Charles Rosen