PRO MUSICA Rara will use the 220th birthday of Beethoven Sunday at the Baltimore Museum of Art to show the delicate balance of strings and piano in three trios written about the same time by the young Beethoven and the two masters he learned from, however briefly, Mozart and Haydn.
The Baltimore chamber music group, now in its 16th year, plays the second concert of its five-concert season at 3:30 p.m. Sunday under Shirley Mathews, artistic director.
Beethoven's Trio in E-flat (1795) was his first published work. Beethoven dedicated the piece to a Viennese employer, Count Lichnowski, who gave chamber music parties on Friday morning. One scholar, Rosemary Hughes, said Beethoven did not last long due to the requirement of keeping regular hours and "compulsory sociability."
Also on Sunday's program are Mozart's Trio in C (1788), published three years before his death, and Haydn's Trio in F# Minor (1795), the end of Haydn's chamber music period.
The PMR Fortepiano Trio playing Sunday are Cynthia Roberts, violin; Allen Whear, cello, and Mathews, fortepiano. Tickets are $12, $9 for seniors and BMA members and $5 for full-time students. For information and reservations, call 889-4920.
Pro Musica Rara concerts are all at 3:30 p.m. Sundays. The remaining dates on the schedule are Jan. 27, "Frederick's Flute Music with Timothy Day" at the museum; March 17 at Lovely Lane Methodist Church, St. Paul and 22nd streets, "A Potpourri with Wind and Strings"; and April 14 at the museum, Monteverdi's "Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda." The musicians vary from concert to concert.
Besides organizing baroque music concerts, Mathews plays harpsichord and the five-octave fortepiano (pianos today have eight octaves) as a group player and soloist. Pro Musica plays classical music written before 1800 when instrument-making began to change drastically.
A Baltimore Symphony harpsichordist from 1959 to 1979, Mathews has commuted for the past 11 years from her home in Freeport, Maine, to Baltimore where she teaches Monday-Wednesday at the Peabody Conservatory. Her husband, Rod Regier, makes working copies of period instruments.
Other Baltimore area concerts coming up in the next few days are:
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 8 p.m., Sts. Philip and James Church, Charles and 28th streets -- Christmas Concert including Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" to benefit the Cardinal Shehan scholarship fund for inner city Catholic schools. The Cathedral Choir of Women, Robert Twynham, director; Paul Binko, pianist, and Eileen Mason, harpist. Donations.
Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m., St. John's Huntingdon Episcopal Church, 3009 Greenmount Ave. -- Annual Christmas concert by the Annapolis Brass Quintet and the Welsh Choir of Delta, Pa., called Cymraeg Cor Rehoboth, directed by Donald King, organist and music director of the church. The choir, singing in Welsh and English, is composed largely of Baltimore area singers who practice in Delta. Donations.
Sunday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 North Charles St. -- The Festival of Lessons and Carols for Christmas. The Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, led by Twynham with Binko, organist, sings the Carol Service in a candlelight setting reminiscent of its English heritage.