Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center offers Mozart, Dvorák and Bermel at Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Paul NeubauerThe Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center blends the old and new with a program of Mozart, Dvorák and Bermel on Saturday, March 27, at 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Journalist Robert Sherman, a classical music writer for The New York Times, will lead a pre-concert Art-to-Heart discussion from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

The Chamber Music Society, the resident company of Lincoln Center and one of the world's premier chamber ensembles, is known for its extraordinary repertoire of classics and its commitment to the commission of new works. The ensemble's dual identities are well-represented in the March 27 program.

The concert will begin with one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's last works, his "Quintet for Two Violins, Two Violas and Cello in E-flat major." Completed in 1790, a year before his death, the quintet exhibits much of the optimistic spirit and rich sonority of his beloved opera "The Magic Flute." It includes folk-like melodies and a set of fantasy variations in its memorable andante movement.

Joseph Silversteinalbert einstein was once so touched by the movement he commented publicly that it represented "the pinnacle of achievement in the combination of concertante and chamber-music elements - brilliance, workmanship, repose and joy in creation all together." Music expert Melvin Berger said the finale is a reflection of the composer himself, "boisterous, zesty, full of life, and bubbling with mischievous humor."

The second work on the program is "Soul Garden," a piece for solo viola, two violins, viola and two cellos by contemporary composer Derek Bermel. The Chamber Music Society commissioned the piece in 2000 for violist Paul Neubauer, who will play in the Quick Center performance.

Bermel, an award-winning composer, as well as a clarinetist, conductor, vocalist and jazz and rock keyboardist, was born in 1967 and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. His "Soul Garden" is a fluid piece inspired by gospel music and the vocal inflections of such popular performers as Stevie Wonder and Sarah Vaughn.

Ronald ThomasThe concert concludes with Antonin Dvorák's "sextet for two violins, two violas, and two cellos in a major, Opus 48." Composed in just two weeks in 1878, the piece blends folk-inspired idioms with the endearing Viennese lyricism of Schubert and Brahms. The middle two movements, a dumke and a furiant, are so influenced by traditional Slavic melodies, that music critic Alec Robertson wrote "the work has the effect of a brightly colored travel poster advertising Czechoslovakia." The brisk finale brings a set of five variations into a whirlwind coda.

Six musicians from the Chamber Music Society will perform at the March 27 concert. They are: Ida Kavafian and Joseph Silverstein, violins; Toby Appel and Neubauer, violas; and Fred Sherry and Ronald Thomas, cellos. David Shifrin is the artistic director.

The Chamber Music Society will return to the Quick Center for a final performance this season on Saturday, May 8, at 8 p.m. The all-Dvorák program features performances by the smaller Orion String Quartet and the Opus One Piano Quartet.

Tickets for the March concert are $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 330-9396 of toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on March 5, 2004

Vol. 36, No. 210

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