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A Little Fun celebrates music’s power to express the depths of profundity and the height of absurdity in a program that unashamedly combines the sublime with the ridiculous. Well-behaved all the way to its conclusion, Joseph Haydn’s quartet nick-named The Joke plays a cunning prank on the audience, not to be revealed in advance! Jumping centuries, Charles Ives’s only piano trio combines transcendental serenity in its outer movements with the self-proclaimed outrageousness of its scherzo, titled TSIAJ (This Scherzo is a Joke). The twentieth-century Russians Alfred Schnittke and Dmitry Shostakovich supply potent doses of ironic humor, and Haydn gets the last word with a clever arrangement for chamber ensemble of his Surprise Symphony, so nicknamed on account of a single, outrageous note.
This concert is preceded by a free afternoon Prelude Performance at 5 p.m. by the 2022 International Program artists. Prelude programs will be announced in