Best Korean Restaurant

Best Korean Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
How Weed Advocates Hope to Spark Legalization in Texas

How Weed Advocates Hope to Spark Legalization in Texas

News: Less than a mile from the Whatcom County Courthouse and even closer to Bellingham High School sits Top Shelf Cannabis, the first store to open and operate after... By Mark Reagan 8/13/2014
The Different Types of Roommates You Might Encounter and How to Deal

The Different Types of Roommates You Might Encounter and How to Deal

College Guide 2013: If you’re going to be in a college dorm, a spacious apartment, a cramped shared bedroom or anywhere on a college campus for that matter, be prepared for your... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Review: Musical Offerings opens music at the Brahms Festival

Photo: Photo courtesy of John Clare, License: N/A

Photo courtesy of John Clare

An interesting program of “Brahms and Beyond” by Musical Offerings opened the musical portion of the Brahms Festival in San Antonio Sunday afternoon (the first official event was a film at SAMA, as well as a KLRN special featuring the San Antonio Symphony). The concert included music by Dvorak, Dohnanyi, Schoenberg, and Brahms.

While the other composers certainly were influenced by and appreciated the Romantic composer, the meatiest and most masterful work was Brahms’ Piano Quintet in f minor, which ended the program. Violinists Sayaka Okada and Joan Christenson, violist Lauren Magnus, and cellist Ryan Murphy were joined by pianist Brent Watkins for a brisk reading. Lots of forward motion made the work lively and exciting. Especially nice was the Andante, un poco adagio which allowed gorgeous playing from Watkins and Okada. (A video of this movement is online: The finale featured syrupy goodness from Murphy’s solo and wonderful ensemble precision for the quintet.

The other star for the afternoon was San Antonio favorite, baritone Timothy Jones. Three Gypsy Songs by Antonin Dvorak opened the program, and were a true delight. (See a performance of the second of these songs, Songs My Mother Taught Me here: Jones had a charm and brilliance with these lieder that was matched by Watkins collaborating at the keyboard. It is easy to hear the influence of Brahms with these works, as well as their mutual love for folky gypsy music.

Next up was a trio for strings by Ernst von Dohnanyi, another composer who looked up to Brahms, and who was helped out by the German master. Christenson, Magnus and Murphy played two movements of Dohnanyi’s Serenade that were not convincing or particularly moving. Rounding out the first half was the rarity Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte by Arnold Schoenberg. Jones was joined by Watkins and all the strings with assistance by San Antonio Symphony Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto. This World War Two era work is thorny at times, and lush at other points.

Throughout, Fujimoto ably led with vocal acrobatics by Jones. The quick talk and demonstration right before the performance with Eric Schneeman illustrated quotes of Beethoven and Le Marseillaise and gave a nice background for the uninitiated. I don’t know of many live performances of this work, but there are a handful of recordings. Sunday afternoon’s performance was a real treat.

Schoenberg will make another appearance at the Brahms Festival on Monday, February 11th with his orchestration of the Piano Quartet No. 1 in g minor. Other notable performances include the String Sextets with Camerata San Antonio as well as the complete Violin Sonatas with Cactus Pear Music Festival. More performance of the Brahms Festival takes place throughout January and February including all four Brahms symphonies and concertos. More information is online at

Recently in Arts & Culture
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus