Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Music Time

It's SUMMER MUSIC 2009 this week and the Fry Street String Quartet is back for another festival of three concerts – along with three Beethoven quartets and some friends joining in for the fun and all the great music-making.

The first concert is Wednesday (tomorrow evening as I write this) and it's at Market Square Church in downtown Harrisburg. AND IT'S AT 6:00 PM. That's not a typo: the concert really does start at SIX O'CLOCK P.M. [EDT]. That's earlier than most weeknight concerts begin which is why my friend Justin Case thinks I should be obsessing on it.

The program for this 6pm concert is Beethoven's String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18/5, and Leone Sinigaglia's Variations on a Theme by Schubert with Gerard Reuter, oboist. Joined by pianist Stuart Malina, the quartet concludes this first program – which, if I hadn't mentioned it, starts at 6pm – with the Piano Quintet in G Minor by Dmitri Shostakovich.

I'd blogged about the Shostakovich with an “up-close/personal” post, here.

Then for the weekend, the festival then moves to the Glen Allen Mill, a beautiful location along the Yellow Breeches (if you need directions, I've included them below).

Saturday evening's concert, at 8:00 pm, begins with another of the early Beethoven String Quartets, the dramatic one in C Minor, Op. 18 No. 4. Here's the quartet playing the last movement:
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The program continues with the Two Rhapsodies by Charles Martin Loeffler, pianist Michael Sheppard joining oboist Gerard Reuter and Fry Street's violist Russell Fallstad.

And then violinist Odin Rathnam joins Michael Sheppard and the whole quartet for Ernest Chausson's Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano & String Quartet. If you've been there before, you know the stage is going to be full.

I've posted an “up-close/personal” about the Chausson on the blog, here.

Sunday afternoon's concert begins at 4:00pm and opens with the Concerto in A Major for Oboe d'Amore and strings, the oboe played by Gerard Reuter and the string orchestra by the Fry Street Quartet. Then, another of Beethoven's early set of string quartets, the 2nd in G Major, before concluding with one of the most popular works in the chamber music repertoire, the Trout Quintet by Franz Schubert. 3/4's of the Fry Street Quartet will be joined by pianist Stuart Malina and bassist Donovan Stokes.

I've blogged about the Trout Quintet with an up-close/personal post, here.

It's BYOP (bring your own picnic) both before the Saturday concert and after the Sunday concert. I'm not sure if trout fishing is allowed but it looks like it should be a great spot for it whether you catch anything or not.

DIRECTIONS TO THE GLEN ALLEN MILL: it's on McCormick Rd between Bowmansdale & Lisburn. From Rt 15 South, take the Rossmoyne Rd exit – turn LEFT at the light – continue on Rossmoyne Rd to Lisburn Rd – follow Arcona Rd until it dead-ends at McCormick Rd – turn LEFT onto McCormick Rd – Mill is ¼ mile ahead on the right – parking is in the meadow around the bend, just over the bridge.

Since it's a summer concert, regardless of the temperatures – and the Mill IS AIR-CONDITIONED now – it's still recommended to “dress casually.” Given the fact you'll be parking in a meadow, you may want to leave those high heels at home.

Tickets for any or all three of the concerts are available through whitakercenter.org or by calling The Box at (717)214-ARTS. Remaining tickets will be available at the door.

This year’s festival honors the memory of Dr. Jason Litton, who for many years was president of the board of Market Square Concerts and had a strong association with its Summermusic Festival.

The festival is partially underwritten by contributions received from the Jason Litton Memorial Fund and Linda Litton.

Corporate Sponsor for the 2009 Summermusic Festival is The Novinger Group. Season sponsor is Capital Blue Cross. Market Square Concerts also receives support from the Cultural Enrichment Fund and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

And don't forget, in case I forgot to remind you, Wednesday evening's concert BEGINS at 6:00pm, earlier than usual.

- Dr. Dick

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