Friday, January 8, 2010

Two Events in the Near Future in the New Year

Welcome to the New Year – a whole new Decade, for that matter!

Now that the various holidays are past – from Hannukah in mid-December to Orthodox Christmas this past January 7th and everything in between (including, perhaps, many New Year's Resolutions) – it's time to get life back onto a normal schedule, if that's ever possible.

Two things to think about are some up-coming events with Market Square Concerts.

First of all, the next concert on the schedule – coming up in just a few weeks – features the Cypress String Quartet, returning to Central Pennsylvania once more but for the first time with Market Square Concerts. I'll be telling you more about them, their program and the composer who'll be joining them for that concert – Jennifer Higdon – in a future post.

The concert is Saturday, January 23rd at 8:00 and instead of the usual downtown haunts, it will be held at an uptown location, Temple Ohev Sholom at North Front and Seneca Streets, just a few blocks above Maclay Street and the Governor's Mansion.

They'll be playing Samuel Barber's String Quartet – better known as the original home of his Adagio for Strings – along with the String Quartet by Claude Debussy, one of the leading exponents of what's usually called “Impressionism,” and a work written especially for them by Jennifer Higdon as a response to the Debussy Quartet. She'll be attending the performance and will be telling us how this work came about: not only will you get to hear another piece by this exciting and very busy composer, you'll get some insights into how a composer works and thinks, something that, for many listeners, is a complete mystery.

Considering Debussy's musical style, she called her quartet, appropriately, “Impressions.” Written in 2003, it's in four movements: Bright Palette, Quiet Art, To the Point and Noted Canvas. The Cypress Quartet recorded it later that year for the Naxos label.

Speaking of recordings, the CD of Higdon's “Percussion Concerto,” a work many of you might have heard with the Harrisburg Symphony recently, has been nominated for a Grammy in the category “Best Classical Composition” (read more about it here). We'll find out on January 31st if she's a winner.

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The other event features another frequent performer in the mid-state, Zuill Bailey, whose Market Square Concerts program this past November featured sonatas by Debussy, Mendelssohn and Brahms. He has a new recording out – Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello on the Telarc label – and you can attend a “CD Release Party” for it right here in Harrisburg.

It's on Wednesday, February 10th at the recently relocated Midtown Scholar's Book Store at 3rd and Verbeke (Broad) Streets in midtown Harrisburg, across from the Broad Street Market. It will begin at 6pm and Zuill will start playing excerpts from the suites at 6:30.

The newly released disc will be available for sale there. There's a $5 requested donation for the event, complete with hors d’oeuvres prepared by HACC’s culinary students along with some liquid refreshments.

Hope to see you at both of these exciting events!

- Dr, Dick

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