By Nestor CASTIGLIONE
Franz Schubert and Gustav Mahler, the two composers who bookended 19th century musical Vienna, shared much in common, despite the surface disparities in their styles and the genres in which they worked. Schubert, for one, was a prolific composer, composing not only songs and symphonies, but sundry string quartets, piano trios and other various chamber compositions, not to mention two dozen piano sonatas and many more piano works besides. Mahler, on the other hand, tilled the soil of the symphony almost exclusively; in his later works investing many passages with the intimacy of tone and texture until then heard only in chamber music.
Yet their paths do cross and not only because both of them called the Hapsburg capital home.
Mahler took much inspiration from Schubert, continuing the elder composer’s penchant for melancholy melody that see-saws between major and minor. Not only that, but the composer’s song cycles are a kind of apotheosis of the song cycle pioneered by Schubert. For his part, the music of Schubert’s last years pointed forward to the younger composer’s bleakness. Indeed the adagio from his fragmentary “Symphony No. 10” is a startlingly prescient Mahlerian creation.
Both composers will share the program at this Sunday’s Le Salon de Musiques concert: Mahler’s early song cycle “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (“Songs of a Wayfarer”) will be joined with Schubert’s late “Notturno” and “Piano Trio No. 2.” Le Salon de Musiques founder François Chouchan will be on the piano, with violinist Chiai Tajima, cellist Timothy Landauer, and baritone David Castillo joining him.
The concert will take place Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Tickets are $85 general admission, $45 for students. To obtain tickets and more information, please contact Le Salon de Musiques by going online to www.lesalondemusiques.com/tickets.asp. They can also be contacted by phone at (310) 498-0257.