Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mendelssohn on the program with Market Square Concerts

Performers at two of Market Square Concerts programs this fall will feature works by Felix Mendelssohn. Student passes for these concerts will be available through your music teacher upon request – just ask them for a pass. Both performances take place at Whitaker Center.

Next month, the Parker Quartet (see right) will be playing the first “mature” string quartet Mendelssohn composed, written when he was 18. (Just to confuse things, a quartet he wrote later ended up getting sent to the publisher sooner than he published this one, so even though he wrote it first, it's published as his String Quartet No. 2...)

He wrote it after studying one of Beethoven's last works, a string quartet written only a few years earlier. Mendelssohn began to compose this work only a few months after Beethoven died so in a sense it's a tribute from the younger generation to the older. In it, he puts aside the youthful joy you can hear in the Octet and the Midsummer Night's Dream overture for something more serious and dramatic.

Here's the Cavani Quartet in a performance of the first movement of his String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13.
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The Parker Quartet will be playing it Sunday, October 11th at Whitaker Center in downtown Harrisburg.

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In November, cellist Zuill Bailey will be playing Mendelssohn's 2nd Cello Sonata on Tuesday, Nov. 17th at Whitaker Center.

Mendelssohn composed it around the same time he had written the music for Shakespeare's play, “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” when he was 34 years old. It's in four movements but in this performance, I found a clip of the last movement with a Thai cellist named Ekachai Maskulrat; the pianist is Low Shao Ying.

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