Live and Livestream Concert

A limited number of people may attend in person at PianoForte Studios. Audience members must wear masks at all times. While family groups may sit together, different audience members/groups will be seated at least six feet apart. Extra masks and hand sanitizer will be available.

Tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance. Call 630-628-9591 or email

The livestream will be available on Orion's YouTube channel which also will host a recording of the performance for a limited time. Virtual access is free. Donations are welcome and can be made on Orion's website.

All programming is subject to change.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartet in E-flat Major for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, K. 493

Walter Rabl (1873-1940)
Quartet in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Opus 1


May 22, 2021 3:00 PM
PianoForte Studios
1335 South Michigan Ave., Chicago IL

Program Notes

Mozart's QUARTET in E-flat Major for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano, K. 493 is a jubilant piece, with subtle humor hidden within great beauty. Mozart wrote this second of his two piano quartets in 1786, shortly after his comic opera The Marriage of Figaro. Because his publisher, Hoffmeister, had recently released Mozart from a contract to write multiple piano quartets, Mozart wrote this one just for the “fun” of it. Joining Orion for this work is frequent guest violist Stephen Boe.


The QUARTET in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 1 won the 23-year-old Austrian composer and pianist Walter Rabl (1873-1940) first prize in an important Viennese composition competition. Rabl caught the attention of the judges with his uncommon pairing of instruments and his skillful melodic writing. Adding to the young man’s good fortune was the fact that none other than Johannes Brahms had subsidized the award and paid out of his own pocket to make the premiere of the piece possible. Brahms further championed Rabl’s career by persuading his own publisher, Simrock, to print the work.

Rabl proceeded to write other chamber music and lieder, in addition to one symphony and a highly acclaimed opera, Liane. However, it is striking that although he received much affirmation for his work, he published nothing after the age of 30. Instead he turned his attention toward conducting. This shift is especially intriguing in light of the fact that as a composer, he had generally worked in a harmonically conservative style, but as a conductor he often highlighted music of the more progressive composers such as Franz Schreker, Erich Korngold and Richard Strauss.