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Liebesfreud: News

2013-14 Season - August 27, 2013

Liebesfreud's 9th season opens in a month with Schubert's last great String Quartet. Open rehearsals - ideal opportunities for the chamber music lover - resume in October. In November we offer homage to Verdi in this 200th anniversary year of his birth. December, of course, brings our annual Beethoven's Birthday concert (2013 is our 11th). 2014 kicks off with a capstone to our 2013 Schubertiade: the universally loved Cello Quintet- and on Schubert's birthday, January 31, at that!  
All programs are on the month's "Last Friday" and at the Art Alliance, except December's, once again at Trinity Center for Urban Life, on December 13th.
Please see the calendar page for details as they become available. 

"Death and the Maiden" - April 30, 2013

n.b.  Next month's "Last Fridays" concert is on the Last Saturday! - May 25th -

The second in Liebesfreud's four concert series of the important works for string quartet highlights the quartet known as "Death and the Maiden".  Arguably the most widely known of his works in the genre, it takes its name from a song of the same name which Schubert wrote several years earlier:

The Maiden:

Oh! leave me! Prithee, leave me! thou grisly man of bone!
For life is sweet, is pleasant.
Go! leave me now alone!
Go! leave me now alone!



Give me thy hand, oh! maiden fair to see,
For I'm a friend, hath ne'er distress'd thee.
Take courage now, and very soon
Within mine arms shalt softly rest thee!"

The song's theme forms the basis for the second movement of the quartet, but there is truly much more here.  Around this famous middle movement Schubert has created a masterpiece which is worthy of hearing- and studying for performance- many times during the course of one's thoughtful musical life.

March 29 Concert - March 1, 2013

Our March "Last Fridays" concert is Friday, March 29, 5:30–6:30 pm at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. This concert begins a survey of the great Schubert string quartets with the A minor String Quartet D. 804, the "Rosamunde" quartet.

If you attended February's open rehearsal, this is the quartet we were working on--and you'll no doubt be eager to hear a complete performance. (By the way, a bit of pop culture trivia: this quartet was used in the 2012 film "The Avengers.")

We will open the program with three of Dvorak's "Cypresses," originally written as love songs for voice and piano, arranged by the composer for string quartet.

February Open Rehearsal - February 1, 2013

This season Liebesfreud is replacing some of our usual ‘Last Fridays’ concerts with open rehearsals. The next of these takes place Friday, February 22 at noon at our usual venue, the Art Alliance.

We will be rehearsing Schubert's glorious Quartet in A Minor, which was supposed to have been part of our January program but fell victim to the snowstorm.

Why would you want to come to a rehearsal? Geoffrey Michaels steps out of character and drops his customary modesty to explain:

We have terrific rehearsals! I’ve been around musicians for more years than I care to count, and I can state unequivocally that Liebesfreud’s way of working on music is characterized by a seriousness and idealism that I have rarely encountered. Of course, we tend to split too many hairs and tell too many anecdotes (as well as some truly terrible jokes), but the desire to make sense of the music, and to make that sense vivid to others, is never corrupted by ego-driven irrelevancies.

We think the process is in itself valuable and interesting, so you might find that an hour at the Art Alliance on Friday would not be a complete waste of time.

Our Eighth Season Kicks Off - January 11, 2013

2012 was a wonderful year for Liebesfreud.
We closed out a survey of the ten "Celebrated" quartets of Mozart, celebrated our 50th "Last Fridays" program and completed our first "Beethoven Cycle".
In the process, regrettably, we ignored (just for the year) two pillars of the quartet literature - a neglect we now begin to rectify with the first concert of our "Last Fridays" series' eighth year. 
Haydn and Schubert: please accept our humblest apologies. 

Music lovers: Please join us January 25th to hear what we've all been missing!
As always, admission is free.
(Please see the 'calendar' page.)


On Sunday, December 16 at 6:00 pm, we will celebrate Beethoven’s birthday by 
performing our tenth annual benefit concert for the Community Outreach Partnership.
The concert takes place at Trinity Memorial Church, 22nd and Spruce Streets.
A wine and cheese reception for the audience and musicians will follow.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Donors who make a gift
of $50 or more to Wintershelter prior to the concert will automatically
receive complimentary admission. Donations can be made online at, or at the office: Community
Outreach Partnership Office, 2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. For more
information or to donate by phone call 215-732-2515.

Wintershelter is a Philadelphia-based program to accommodate and feed
homeless men. Other programs of the Community Outreach Partnership include
Communicare, an elder visitation program; Cook-off, a meal program for
home-bound persons; Greens-on-the-Go, a Center City Community Supported
Agriculture program ; and Sustainable 19103, a lecture series on urban

Liebesfreud is an ensemble devoted primarily to the performance of great
literature for the string quartet. The group takes its name, which means
Love’s Joy, from the title of a heartfelt piece by beloved violinist Fritz
Kreisler. The main focus of Liebesfreud’s work is the heart of the
classical repertoire, as exemplified by the quartet’s programs of Haydn,
Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert at the Kimmel Center (“Free in the Plaza”
series), the Philadelphia Art Alliance (“Last Fridays” series) and, since
2003, the annual Beethoven’s Birthday celebrations at Trinity.

As Mr. Forbes will be on another continent on December 16,
we are profoundly grateful and honored that
Hai-Ye Ni, principal cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra,
will join us in this performance of Beethoven’s great Opus 130 quartet.

Beethoven's Birthday Just Around the Corner - November 16, 2012

A month until the big day - our 10th Annual Beethoven's Birthday Bash. As always, all monies raised go to Trinity Center's CORP [Community Outreach Partnership] which benefits Philadelphia's homeless through its Wintershelter program.
This year we are delighted to welcome a guest who is no stranger to Philadelphia music lovers: Hai-Ye Ni, the Philadelphia Orchestra's Principal Cellist will join us in Beethoven's great op. 130 quartet. You come and join us too!
(... and if you live in Center City, it really IS just around the corner: at 22nd & Spruce!)
~ Please see our 'Calendar' page ~  

Fabulous 50 - November 1, 2012

What a pleasure to collaborate once again with consummate artist Ricardo Morales for our 50th "Last Fridays" program! Thanks to Ricardo, our loyal audience and to the anonymous longtime fan who underwrote rental expenses for the Kimmel Center's stunning Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden for this celebratory concert.

Beethoven's Birthday is December 16th - put it on your calendar.
(... please see our 'calendar' page) 

Fiftieth "Last Friday" - October 10, 2012

Liebesfreud will be on top of the world this "Last Friday" when we ascend to the Roof Garden of the Kimmel Center for what promises to be a most memorable concert. We've been looking forward to this since first we had the pleasure of Ricardo Morales's collaborative artistry in Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in 2006 (on Mozart's 250th Birthday).
This time it's the Clarinet Quintet of Brahms, a late work and a supreme masterpiece in the chamber music literature.
Opening this one-hour program will be two short but stunning String Quartet works, also written toward the end of their composers' all-too-short lives.

Liebesfreud quartet members and all guest artists offer their services without fee so that, since the beginning of 2006, all concerts in this "Last Fridays" Series have been open to the public with absolutely no admission charge.  Some members of our audience do contribute to a "Hall Rental Fund" (which helps defray such costs) and to those kind and loyal music lovers we extend our sincere thanks and appreciation. 

For more details on this upcoming 50th Celebration Concert, please see this website's 'Calendar' page.

Taking Stock - October 1, 2012

Liebesfreud's 50th Free "Last Fridays" concert approaches; but first, we pause to acknowledge - and THANK - the many fine artists and FRIENDS who have so graciously joined us over these last 80 months.

Ricardo Morales, Mozart Clarinet Quintet 
Harold Robinson, Dvorak Bass Quintet  
Jennifer Montone, Mozart Horn Quintet K. 407
Vivian Barton-Dozor, Schubert Cello Quintet
Clipper Erickson, Luigi Mazzocchi, Brahms Piano Quintet
Efe Baltacigil, Vivian Barton-Dozor, Schubert Cello Quintet
Alison Avery, Mozart Viola Quintet K. 593
Michal Schmidt, Elgar Violin & Piano Sonata op. 82
Miles Davis, Dvorak Bass Quintet
Hugh Sung, Kreisler pieces
Sam Caviezel, Brahms Clarinet Quintet
Mari-Liis Pakk, Noah Luft-Weissburg,  Heather Wright, Regina Golovina, Mendelssohn Octet
Ana Tzinadze, Dane Anderson, Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence
Renard Edwards, Mendelssohn Viola Quintet op. 87
Vivian Barton-Dozor, Arensky Quartet op. 35
Dara Morales, Jesus Morales, Brahms Sextet op. 18
Hugh Sung, music of Clara & Robert Schumann
Christoph Eschenbach, Dvorak Piano Quintet

Liebesfreud Begins 8th Season of Free Chamber Music Programs - September 1, 2012

Liebesfreud kicks off its eighth season of free programs by wrapping up our survey of the "Ten Celebrated" string quartets of Mozart.  Beginning in October, 2011, we have been exploring these masterpieces with our audiences both in performance and in open rehearsal. This program, the 49th in our "Last Fridays" series, offers the final two string quartets Mozart wrote: K. 589 in B flat major and K. 590 in F major.

Stay tuned for the exciting announcement of our 50th program with guest, Ricardo Morales, illustrious Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra, performing Brahms' mature masterpiece, the "Clarinet Quintet".

Our thoughts turn now to ... Mozart! - April 17, 2012

With the tax deadline now behind us, we can put our energies into discovering more of the delights and genius of Mozart's most inspired chamber music. Come sit in as Liebesfreud explores two more of W.A.'s "Celebrated Quartets". April's "Last Friday" open rehearsal ... please see the 'Calendar' page of this site, and ... Join us!

The Haydn-Mozart Connection - February 25, 2012

In honor of Haydn's 280th birthday, and in continuation of Liebesfreud's year-long survey of Mozart's "Ten Celebrated" String Quartets, offered are the final two in the set of six quartets the junior Austrian genius wrote for, and dedicated to, the senior:

Mozart’s published dedication page (Sept. 1, 1785 - original in Italian!):

To my dear friend Haydn,
A father who had resolved to send his children out into the great world took it to be his duty to confide them to the protection and guidance of a very celebrated Man, especially when the latter by good fortune was at the same time his best Friend. Here they are then, O great Man and dearest Friend, these six children of mine.
They are, it is true, the fruit of a long and laborious endeavor, yet the hope inspired in me by several Friends that it may be at least partly compensated encourages me, and I flatter myself that this offspring will serve to afford me solace one day. You, yourself, dearest friend, told me of your satisfaction with them during your last Visit to this Capital. It is this indulgence above all which urges me to commend them to you and encourages me to hope that they will not seem to you altogether unworthy of your favour.
May it therefore please you to receive them kindly and to be their Father, Guide and Friend! From this moment I resign to you all my rights in them, begging you however to look indulgently upon the defects which the partiality of a Father’s eye may have concealed from me, and in spite of them to continue in your generous Friendship for him who so greatly values it, in expectation of which I am, with all of my Heart, my dearest Friend, your most Sincere Friend,
   W. A. Mozart

"Last Fridays" series: March 30th, 5:30 p.m. (details on 'Calendar' page)

Take Two - February 2, 2012

Two Beethoven Quartets. One early, one late. 

If you missed Liebesfreud's Annual Beethoven's Birthday concert, take this opportunity!  Join us at the Art Alliance for the next program -the 46th!- in our "Last Fridays" series.  Details on the 'Calendar' page.

Mozart's Birthday! - January 24, 2012

Thanks to Schroeder, of Peanuts comic strip fame, Beethoven's birthday gets a lot of attention, but most years Mozart's birthday goes unnoticed. Liebesfreud will make sure that doesn't happen this January 27 — our Last Fridays concert this month features two of Mozart's quartets (from a set of six) dedicated to Haydn:

  • Quartet in B flat major K 458 "The Hunt"
  • Quartet in E flat major K 428

9th Annual Beethoven's Birthday Concert - November 16, 2011

December 18th / 5:00 p.m. Liebesfreud has completed the "Beethoven Cycle" and embarks upon another journey through this hallowed ground of the String Quartet canon. This year's pairing will center around the sunny key of A with an early quartet, op. 18 no. 5 and one of the giants of the chamber music solar system, op. 132.

As usual, the performance is the Sunday closest to Mr. Beethoven's birthday and again raises monies - and consciousness - for "Wintershelter", a program of Community OutReach Partnership, a non-sectarian volunteer group that provides direct help to the homeless, hungry, elderly, lonely, or otherwise needy in the city of Philadelphia.

Incidentally, next year (2012) will be our 10th Annual Celebration and Beethoven's Birthday, December 16th, falls on a Sunday - How perfect is that?! So mark your calendars now :>)  See the 'Calendar' page for all you need to know and Please Join Us!

Home For Thanksgiving - November 11, 2011

Come hear Christoph Eschenbach!

On Friday, November 25, our friend, sensitive, ruminant, illustrious pianist and maestro will be joining Liebesfreud in Dvorak's glowing A major Piano Quintet. Don't miss it! This is a free "Last Fridays" concert at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, 5:45 pm.

Please see our 'Calendar' page for program details.

photo by Eric Brissaud

photo by Eric Brissaud

Our 7th season! - October 1, 2011

This season begins with a survey of the "Ten Celebrated" String Quartets of Mozart. Over the course of the next 12 months, we will offer 5 pairs of these masterworks, in chronological order. We begin - October 27th - with K. 387 in G major & K. 421 in D minor. November [25th] will bring an as yet undecided (but guaranteed to be memorable!) masterwork....

See you in the Autumn. - May 13, 2011

Thanks to all our loyal listeners for a memorable spring.
Wishing you all a beautiful summer.
~ Liebesfreud
p.s. all-Mozart in October

May 13 Concert - May 6, 2011

Our concert at the Philadelphia Art Alliance on May 13 is part of our "Last Fridays" series, even though it's not the last Friday of the month. That means that it starts at 5:30, and admission is free.

Also characteristic of the series is the format: about an hour of delightful chamber music. Featured this month are quartets by Haydn (Op. 42 in D minor) and Brahms (Op. 51, No. 2, in A minor).

We hope you can join us!

March 25 Concert - March 22, 2011

The featured work on this month's "Last Fridays" concert is Elgar's String Quartet in E minor, one of Elgar's last compositions and one of his few chamber works.
Geoffrey Michaels and Phil Kates will open the program with a nod to Bartok on the anniversary of his birth: Selected Violin Duos.
Philadelphia Art Alliance
5:30 p.m.
Price: FREE

Support for this program generously donated by Barbara Kates
in honor of her dear husband, Henry, on the occasion of his 97th birthday

February 25 Program - February 20, 2011

This Friday Liebesfreud musicians Geoffrey Michaels, Philip Kates, and Charles Forbes will be playing "musical chairs" in a program of two string duos (violin and viola) and a string trio (violin, viola, and cello).
Beethoven—String Trio in C minor, Op. 9 No. 3
Mozart—Duo in B flat major, K. 424
Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia for Violin and Viola

A free "Last Fridays" concert
February 25 at 5:30 pm
Philadelphia Art Alliance
251 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Liebesfreud 5th Year of Free Concerts Begins - January 1, 2011

Five years ago Liebesfreud instituted what has become the only public free chamber music series in Philadelphia.
Concerts are open to all, no tickets required.
39 concerts and counting.

February 25th program to feature Schubert String Trio in B flat major.
Details on calendar page.

Beethoven's Birthday Concert - December 19, 2010

Our 8th! annual Beethoven's Birthday concert is Sunday, December 19 at 5:15 pm, at Trinity Memorial Church, 2212 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA.
Music by Beethoven, of course:
String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59 No. 2
String Quartet in C# minor, Op. 131

As in previous years, this concert is a benefit for Community OutReach Partnership, a non-sectarian volunteer group that provides direct help to the homeless, hungry, elderly, lonely, or otherwise needy in the city of Philadelphia.

October 29 - October 27, 2010

Liebesfreud celebrates the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann's birth with a performance of his Quartet in F Major, Opus 41, No. 2. Also on the program is the Dvorak Terzetto, Opus 74.

Our free "Last Fridays" concerts are held at the Art Alliance at 5:30 pm.
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