Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts October 13


Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presents the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for the first in a series of three concerts, Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. Journalist Robert Sherman will conduct a pre-concert "Art to Heart" discussion from 7-7:40 p.m.

Pianist Wu Han, who is also co-artistic director of the Chamber Music Society, completes an eight-piece ensemble that includes another piano, two violins, viola, bass, and two cellos for an evening of three Russian Romantics.

The stellar ensemble comprises a group of nationally known and internationally known musicians: Morris Robinson (bass), Ken Noda (piano), Ian Swensen (violin), Joseph Swensen (violin), Paul Neubauer (viola), Julie Albers (cello) and Ralph Kirshbaum (cello).

Anton Arensky worked throughout the last half of the 19th century until his death in 1906. His compositional style and dedication to his Russian musical heritage are well demonstrated by the "Quartet No. 2 in A minor" for violin, viola and two cellos selected for the evening's program. Written in 1894 to commemorate the death of his faculty colleague and friend, Tchaikovsky, Arensky composed using thematic material. He included in the work a traditional Russian psalm intonation, a song by Tchaikovsky, a funeral melody from the Orthodox Requiem service and a famous national hymn.

Modest Mussorgsky led a brief life that turned sad toward the end, but there dwelled always within him the soul of an iconoclastic, bohemian artist, seeking, as he said, "to portray the soul of man in all its profundity." The evening's program includes "Songs and Dances of Death," a work that contains the essence of Mussorgsky's unique art, which is "radical, realistic, free of formula and full of conviction," according to James Husst Hall in his survey of "The Art Song."

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the "Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50," the final piece on the evening's program, to commemorate the death of Nikolai Rubinstein, one of Russia's foremost pianists and an important professional and personal supporter of the composer's. It is Tchaikovsky's only chamber work for piano and strings. He wrote it in two large movements: a huge sonata-allegro and an extended set of variations, a formal concept reminiscent of Beethoven's late sonatas.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center returns to the Quick Center for the Arts on Nov. 10 and next spring on April 26.

Tickets are available online at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. There is a 20% subscriber discount available; senior and student discounts are available by request.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 26, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 59