Duo Concert on March 22, 2024 at the Millis Library, Millis MA

The Charles River Sinfonietta is starting to make plans for its  chamber music concerts this spring, summer, and early fall  once again, from the grants and support it has been receiving lately for our 2024 performances.   Our first concert will  be a duo recital that will be given at the Millis Library, in Millis, MA, on March 22nd at 6:30pm with Jacob Litoff on violin and Michael Simmons on viola performing works by Handel/Halvorsen,  Johannes Wenzeslaus Kalliwoda,  James Niblock, and Mozart.

The Handel/Halvorsen piece is a Passacaglia with many variations on a theme that came from the final movement of Handel’s Harpsichord suite in G minor.

James Niblock composed this violin/viola duo sonata in 2008, ten years before he passed away at the age of 100.  It is a beautiful piece that needs to become well known.

Johannes Wenzeslaus Kalliwoda  composed this Duo opus 208, the first of 2 duos he wrote for violin and viola then, near the end of the 44 years he spent working for Prince Karl Egon II of Furstenberg in Germany in the early 19th century.

Mozart’s duo K. 423 is the first of two great violin/viola duos he composed in Vienna in 1783.

There have been lots of wonderful duos and chamber music written that really need to be heard more.   We hope that on March 22, 2024 at 6:30pm at the Millis Library in Millis MA many people can come to hear these wonderful works get performed.  The concert is free and open to the public.

We greatly thank the Local Cultural Councils of Millis, Norton, Northborough, Westborough, Ashland and Weston for helping make our concerts possible and the MCC  also for their support.

A video of our concert from June 23, 2023

This is a video of  one of the programs we performed in the  summer of 2023.

This  has Felix Mendelssohn – Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20,   Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges – Violin Concerto #9 in G and JS Bach Brandenburg concerto #3.

Video of a program we did in July 2023



This is a video of a program we did at the end of July 2023.  The video just got completed and sent to me.  In this we performed

Tango “El Choclo”. by A. Villoldo that I arranged for string trio(violin, viola, bass)

Grande Sestetto Concertante k 364  by Mozart. arranged by Christopher Hogwood for string sextet

Concertino opus 42 by M.  Weinberg for solo violin and strings.

Our Summer Concerts in June 2023

The last 3 day weekend in June we will be having 3 more concerts. These will be in Brockton MA at the Evangelical Bethel Church  of God, 60 South Skinner Street.   These concerts are free and open to the public.

on Friday 6/23/23  at 8pm we will be performing Bach Brandenburg concerto #3,  Violin concerto #9 in G by Joseph Boulogne Chevalier De Saint. George, and the Octet opus 20 by Felix Mendlessoh.

on Saturday 6/24/23  at 8 pm we will be repeating the string quartet program we played in  the Millis library in April, doing Beethoven string quartet opus 18 #4 in c minor, and Louis Spohr string quartet opus 29 #3 in f minor

on Sunday 6/25/23 at 3 pm. we will be performing Paganini’s Duo #2 for  violin and bassoon, Mozart’s flute quartet in D,  k 285, Rezso Kokai’s clarinet quartet, Mozart horn duos and Peter von Winter’s octet for 2 horns, flute, clarinet, bassoon, violin viola and cello.

Please bring all your friends and relatives to enjoy this wonderful chamber music in Brockton the last 3 day weekend in June.

We greatly thank the Massachusetts cultural council for all their support

Our Spring Concerts in 2023

Our spring concert  on April  28 2023 was a great success.  We performed at the Millis Public Library in Millis, MA. Our program included 2 string quartets,   Beethoven opus 18 #4, and  Spohr opus 29 #3. This program we will be playing again in Brockton MA on June 24, 2023. The Spohr quartets opus 29  have just been published recently, although Louis Spohr lived from 1784-1859.  He was a great violinist, a great conductor and a great composer.

Our 2nd spring concert at the Millis Public Library in Millis MA was on May 26, 2023 including:

*9 of the ’13 Pieces for 2 clarinets and viola’ by Franz Krommer

*Variations for clarinet and cello(1989)  by Lucas Richman

*Prelude,  Allegro, and Pastorale(1941)  for clarinet and viola by Rebecca Clarke.

*Trio for 2 clarinets and viola  by Conradin Kreutzer

Our audience is growing at every concert.

We greatly thank the Massachusetts Cultural Council for supporting our concerts in part this year as administered from the Local Cultural Councils of Millis, Holliston, Southborough, Northborough, Brockton, Avon, Concord and Quincy MA, and from the MCC’s  Festival Grants and the COVID-19 recovery grants.  We also thank the Roche Bros, Amazon, the Millis Library,  goodsearch.com and several private supporters for making these concerts possible.




Our Applefest in 2022

For our Applefest in September we performed once again by the Trinity Church  in Northborough MA.   We played on  September 17 2022 from 10am-12 noon.   We played two octets this year.  One by August Walter composed in 1849 originally, then revised slightly in 1863.  We also performed the famous Schubert Octet opus 166.  We also videoed these at Quincy Cable TV station to be shown for Cable TV again in several towns.

Septet concert in 8/2021- 2 septets by Blanc and Rainer, with student soloist Emma Li playing two solos by Handel and Martini

This here is our second program from the end of the summer 2021  of two septets we performed and recorded for Quincy Cable TV.  Our septet performance we played two septets here by Adolph Blanc and by Rudolph Johann Joseph Rainer, a student of Beethoven. And .Emma Li plays to violin solos by Handel and Martini https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDGLI_geo8Y

Charles River Sinfonietta video 1 from summer of 2021. Octets by Mendlessohn & Enesco and soloist playing Brahms and Rodrigo

We have to really thank the Quincy Cable TV for helping us .. we recorded a few programs for them to be shown on Cable TV stations these last few months . They are now starting to be shown on the TV stations . Here is our first one. We’d been hoping to have several kids play solos with us in our concerts this summer but almost no parents would let them due to coronavirus 19. We really have to thank Emma Li and her parents for letting Emma playing solos with us in two of our concerts we videoed. She played two short solos by Brahms and Rodrigo in this program and two short solos in another video. We also played two octets here by Mendlessohn and Enescu https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qrf3R4rR1M

Heinrich Hofmann

Heinrich Hofmann was a German composer who lived in the 19th century from January 13 1842  when he was born in Berlin until July 16 1902  when he died in Grob – Tabarz, Thuringia.    He was very popular during his lifetime and his music was greatly sought after, not only in his home country Germany, but in Austria, England, Switzerland and America.  He was widely known for his wonderful piano duets, often referred to as poetic novellas, feelings described in sound.   At the age of 9 he was already singing in the  Berlin Cathedral choir.   He went on to study with some great teachers at  the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst.  His comic opera “Cartouche(1869) was. a great success, and it was this that encouraged him to devote his life to music, composing, performing , and teaching.

In addition to his  wonderful piano duets and his comic opera,  he composed several chamber works that were greatly. appreciated including his piano trio opus 18, a string sextet opus 25, a piano  quartet opus 50 , this Serenade for flute and string quartet and double bass, opus 65, and an Octet  opus 80

At the end of the nineteenth century before we had cell phones, and movies and TVs and before sports. had become popular,  music loving patrons would  often commission  chamber music pieces  tailored to their  desires.   The Philharmonic Club in New York City  in the late 19th century, asked several composers, including Friedrich Gernsheim, Theodore, Gouvy, Edmund, Kretchmer, Salomon Jadassohn Arnold Krug, and Heinrich Hofmann to compose  sextets for flute, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass with serenade type  character and  with the feeling of a choral work.   Many wonderful works were produced and delivered to these New Yorkers and they were all published in 1884 and this sextet we hope to include in our programs in 2021  was one of them.  It was received with great enthusiasm and greatly enjoyed. It was sometimes referred to as in the style of Mendlessohn.

Heinrich Hofmannm  often referred to as “this mightily striving artistic talent whose works are (were)  sought after by the best publishers” unfortunately   his wonderful  works   went into slumber  after he died in 1902 and are waiting  in publishing houses and archives for people to discover them once again.  This sextet for flute , string quartet and double bass that we hope to perform in  2021 is really a wonderful composition that should get performed far more than it does.

Carl Amand Mangold


In our video the Charles River Sinfonietta made on September 22, 2020 to be put on Cable TV in many towns we’d gotten grants and support to give concerts this year, the first piece on the program was a septet by Carl Amand Mangold written in 1855. It appears that previous to our video this piece didn’t seem to have been recorded anywhere and was only recently published for the first time in 2008.

Carl Amand Mangold was born October 8 1813 at Darmstadt into a very musical family where his father , George Mangold(1767-1835) was director of the music for the court and his brother Wilhelm Mangold(1796-1878) was the local conductor and his sister Charlotte Mangold(1794-1870) was also involved. Carl was an unpaid member of the court orchestra starting at a pretty young age, and appeared as a singer as well.



With financial help from the grand duke, Carl studied violin, composition and singing from 1836-1839 in Paris where he made good friends with Hector Berlioz, Giacoma Meyenbeer, Franz Liszt and Clara Wieck. After those three years he returned to Darmstadt and was very busy directing several orchestras and choruses, teaching at the local highs school and upper secondary school , and composing. His compositions were very numerous including 6 operas, 3 oratorios, 5 concert dramas, cantatas with and without orchestra, arias and scenes, several hundred lieder, 8 symphonies, 2 violin concertos piano works, and chamber music. Most of his compositions remain unpublished and the manuscripts wait for their musical reanimation.

This septet he composed in 1855 because of two paintings that were temporarily exhibited in the music hall of the grand ducal castle from February 18th till March 10th in 1844 in Darmstadt, which had been commissioned by the Belgian government and which led to a fierce discussion among the top politicians about to what extent the portrayal of historical paintings expressing political opinions should be allowed.

The two pictures were “The resignation of the emperor Karl V in favor of his son Philipp II at Brussels the 23rd of October 1555” and “The signing of the Flemish nobility’s compromise on 16th February 1566” These occasions were both important events that led to national independence, for prior to this the Netherlands were part of the Spanish kingdom, reined by a governor..

Each of the 4 movements of this septet represent things having to do with the Dutch getting their independence. In the first movement it is supposed to represent the Spanish and the Dutch. In the Andante , the 2nd movement, this represents Goethe’s Egmond and Klarchen, an episode. In the Scherzo this represents when the Count of the Flemish nobility and his people handed over a petition to the Spanish governess Margarethe of Parma. At this time the Flemish were considered “gueux’ or beggars. During a feast the word “Geusen” was assigned to all those people associated with the revolutions, Then the fourth movement quotes a chorale “Who leaves everything to God and always hopes for him that one GOD will miraculously save in all affliction and grief”

This piece clearly shows how Carl Amand Mangold was a musician with many political concerns. In this piece he portrayed how music could be connected to other art works like these paintings.

Carl Amand Mangold composed many pieces for several more decades before he finally passed away on August 4 1889. Hopefully more of his beautiful works will be pulled from their manuscripts and published, but he sure had lots of competition with the big composers of the time like Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner.

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