Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Music & the New Season: A Tease

While we’re thinking about summer and planning vacations or weekend get-aways, it’s not too early to put a few days in July on your calendar for Market Square Concerts’ “Summer Music Festival 2009.” The first of its three concerts will take place on Wednesday evening, July 22nd (starting at an earlier-than-usual time, 6pm), at Market Square Presbyterian Church and the remaining two will take place at the Glen Allen Mill on the Yellow Breeches that Saturday evening (July 25th) and Sunday afternoon (July 26th). Check the web-site for more details – and for directions to the Mill, if you’re not familiar with it.

In up-coming posts, I’ll be telling you more about the works the Fry Street String Quartet will play along with violinist Odin Rathnam, pianists Stuart Malina and Michael Sheppard, oboist Gerard Reuter and bassist Donovan Stokes, including three of Beethoven’s early quartets, the Shostakovich Piano Quintet and Chausson’s rarely heard Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, plus one of the most popular works in the chamber music repertoire, Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet (perfect for sitting beside a beautiful tree-lined creek on a [hopefully] sunny Sunday afternoon).

If you’re on the Market Square Concerts’ mailing list, you should be receiving your brochures for the up-coming 2009-2010 Season (if you haven’t already – I got mine today).

If you’re not on the mailing list, check the web-site for details or contact the office at (717) 221-9599 or send e-mail to info@marketsquareconcerts.org.

There are six concerts between October 11th and April 24th, some at Whitaker Center and some at Market Square Presbyterian Church, where the concert series got its start. The January concert will take place at Temple Ohev Sholom in uptown Harrisburg.

Programs range from the Traditional to the Modern, opening with the Parker Quartet playing Beethoven & Mendelssohn in October and cellist Zuill Bailey playing sonatas by Mendelssohn & Brahms in November.

In February, an ensemble called Brooklyn Rider will feature, in addition to Schubert’s “Death & the Maiden” Quartet, the 5th Quartet of Philip Glass and the world premiere of a work commissioned by Market Square Concerts written by Lisa Bielawa (she’s going to be working on it while she’s in Rome this fall – you can read about that, here – and she’ll be one of the performers, as well).

In January, composer Jennifer Higdon – you may remember having heard “Blue Cathedral” and her Percussion Concerto with the Harrisburg Symphony in past seasons – will be in town when the Cypress Quartet plays her “Impressions,” a work they commissioned as a response to Claude Debussy’s String Quartet which is also on the program (along with Samuel Barber's Quartet, the original home of his famous Adagio for Strings). You can read my reactions to a performance the Cypress Quartet gave last year at Lebanon Valley College where the Debussy Quartet was also on the program. (BTW, they're back in the area in just two weeks with a performance in Steinman Hall of Lancaster's Pennsylvania Academy of Music for a program that will include Schubert's Quartetsatz, Mendelssohn's Quartet Op. 13 and Schubert's "Death & the Maiden" on June 24th.)

The last two concerts of the new season may be kind of complementary. March’s is an eclectic program with flutist Claire Chase performing Bach, Schumann and Debussy along with Pierre Boulez and a transcription of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D Minor for solo amplified flute (I'm still trying to imagine how that is possible).

April’s, then, is a tribute to The Bard and his contemporaries, both literary and musical, with Parthenia, joined by actor Paul Hecht and soprano Jacqueline Horner, called “When Musicke and Sweete Poetry Agree,” just in time for Shakespeare’s birthday.

So even as you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through the summer, don’t forget to look ahead to the fall when the new season begins. There’s a lot going on in Central Pennsylvania and you don’t want to miss out on Market Square Concert’s 28th season!

And if you send in your full season subscription by July 15th, you’ll receive a new Beethoven CD by the Cypress Quartet which includes the Quartet Op.135.

- Dr. Dick

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