Strictly speaking, this Monday is not the final day of the first term at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM). However, because Paul Hersh will use that evening to present his latest lecture/concert offering, there is likely to be some sense of finality to the occasion. Hersh is frequently interested in exploring unconventional structures; and, for this particular occasion, he has prepared a program of compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven with three consecutive opus numbers.
Now, as anyone who knows their Beethoven will tell you, Beethoven’s opus numbers provide an inaccurate account of his chronology. In this case each of these three pieces was composed in a separate year, and Alexander Wheelock Thayer’s biography of Beethoven was organized in such a way that it is relatively easy to find an account of just how prolific Beethoven was in each of those three years. In this particular case the years associated with the opus numbers are consecutive but not in the same order. Thus, the program will be presented in order of opus number as follows: the Opus 95 string quartet (“Serioso”) in F minor, composed in 1810; the Opus 96 (final) violin sonata in G major, composed in 1812; the Opus 97 piano trio (“Archduke”) in B-flat major, composed in 1811.
In presenting this program, Hersh will be joined by three SFCM graduate students. He will play the viola part in Opus 95 joined by violinists Kevin Matson and Shelby Yamin and cellist Evan Khan. He will then take the piano part to join Yamin in the Opus 96 sonata. Finally, he will again play piano with Matson and Khan in the Opus 97 trio.
This concert will begin at 8 p.m. this coming Monday, December 12. SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. This concert will be free and open to the general public. No tickets will be required.