A few weeks ago, I was very fortunate to host and accompany the Larchmere String Quartet, currently quartet-in-residence at the University of Evansville, IN, in their concert tour in Tennessee. Back in September, we started working on the very little known Clarinet Quintet (1902) by Stephan Krehl (1864-1924). The week I spent with LSQ gave us more time to learn the piece well enough to give some of our first public performances together.
Soon after LSQ arrived at my home in Cookeville (and finished many bottles of wine), we headed to Harrogate, a tri-state town located in northeast Tennessee. We spent a whole day there still refreshing our vague memories (if we had any) of the music and getting ready to perform Krehl for the first time that evening at Lincoln Memorial University. After the LSQ gave a fantastic performance of quartets by Haydn and Brahms, we gave our TN premiere of Krehl's Quintet. Besides being surprised at various surprising tempo changes and harmonic surprises (lots of surprises), we all agreed that the piece has some really beautiful moments and great potential.
The next day was spent in Nashville where we made a stop at WPLN (Nashville NPR Affiliate) Studio to play for a live interview and broadcast for their Classical 90.1. LSQ gave another very exciting performance of the first movement from Brahms String Quartet, Op. 51/1, and we played the Lento movement from Krehl's Quintet.
Our final concert together in TN was scheduled at Tennessee Tech University where I teach. The LSQ gave their Center Stage Presentation in the morning, pouring a great deal of insights and inspiration for our music students. We had a relaxing afternoon strolling around the downtown Cookeville. The turnout for our evening Center Stage Recital was terrific, and I tremendously enjoyed playing Krehl again with the LSQ. I truly appreciate the LSQ's courage and willingness to work with me in giving a new life to this rather obscure work. I truly look forward to our number of upcoming performances together as well as a recording session for Naxos, featuring the quintet and Krehl only string quartet. Please stay tuned for our exciting upcoming projects!