In the summer of 1886, Brahms’ latest Muse was a beautiful contralto for whom he wrote many of his loveliest songs in a mood of romantic self-indulgence. That summer he composed this warm, beguiling Sonata on a lakeshore on the edge of the Alps while waiting for his Muse. Fragments of the love-songs he wrote for her weave through this gentle, much-loved music, creating for us a perfect summer afternoon in the special atmosphere of Bantry House. Bartók’s Folk Dances are six sparkling miniatures taken from his huge collection of folk tunes from the people of the Balkan mountains. This recital travels from the Alps through the Balkans to Yerevan in Armenia. Arno Babajanian, like Bartók, was deeply involved in his country’s folk music as well as the violent contrasts of the times he lived in so in his music we find moments of gorgeous lyricism contrasted with explosive outbursts, to put it politely you can expect extreme and exciting dynamic contrasts.