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2004 Russia - Eastern Europe I

The 2004 season ended with programs of works by composers from Eastern Europe and Russia: languages often marginalized in discussions of Bach and Beethoven, but that nevertheless produced a tremendous treasury of chamber music. Russian composer Anton Arensky incorporates folk tunes and Orthodox plainchant melodies from his native country into his Cello Quartet, while the songs of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov set the texts of Russian poets with a keen ear for the Russian language. Czech composer Bedrich Smetana created his Piano Trio in g minor in memoriam, following the death of his 4-year-old daughter. While such programmatic writing was reserved for large-scale orchestral works in Western Europe, the composers of Eastern Europe often used smaller forces to illustrate a story.

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