‘Beethoven’s Archduke’ is chamber fest’s fourth offering

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HARRISON — “Beethoven’s Archduke,” the fourth concert of Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival’s 43rd season of chamber music, will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Deertrees Theatre in Harrison. 

Tickets for the performance are $25. 

The Aug. 4 program is as follows: Shostakovich, Five Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano; Mozart,  String Quartet in C Major, K.465 “Dissonant;” and Beethoven, Piano Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97 “Archduke.”

This program offers music from three great composers – Shostakovich, Mozart, and Beethoven. Mozart’s “Dissonant” Quartet and Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio would be contenders for any “top 10 list” of most treasured chamber works. Shostakovich could be there, as well, but, on this program, listeners will enjoy his lighter side, as an appetizer. The concert begins with a set of five violin duets with piano, arranged from the vast amount of music which Shostakovich composed for the giant Soviet film industry. They move from a lushly romantic prelude to a final tongue-in-cheek polka. Although Shostakovich intended these pieces strictly for entertainment, his supreme craftsmanship shines through.

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Thus entertained, the audience will be ready for Mozart’s monumental String Quartet in C Major, nicknamed “the Dissonant” for the complex harmonies in the introduction that shocked 18th century sensibilities. This quartet is the most famous of a group of six, which are considered the peak of Mozart’s chamber music output. As the story goes, the first hearing prompted Franz Joseph Haydn to tell Mozart’s father “Before God as an honest man, I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name.”

The program ends with the famous Beethoven “Archduke” piano trio in B-flat major, beloved for the nobility of the opening theme, and the exquisite variations. This is the last of three Beethoven Piano Trios performed at SLLMF this season. All nine are being presented in a three-season cycle. Six down; three to go!

The musicians performing these pieces, which exemplify the heart of chamber music, are familiar favorites with SLLMF audiences: violinists Philip Palermo (Indianapolis Symphony associate concertmaster) and Gerry Itzkoff (Cincinnati Symphony); Bonnie Thron (North Carolina Symphony principal cellist); Laurie Kennedy (Portland Symphony principal violist and Music Director of SLLMF), and pianist Mihae Lee (Triton Horn Trio). 

 Anyone 21 and under is admitted free of charge. Tickets:  online at  www.sebagomusicfestival.org; Deertrees Theatre box office;  at local outlets: Bridgton Books; Books N Things, Norway; or reservations by phone: 207-583-6747

All tickets are for open seating and will be held at the front entrance box office. Tickets are available concert nights starting at 6:45. Reserved tickets must be picked up by 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Aug. 9,  at 2:30 p.m., Deertrees will host Words & Music, an hour-long program for listeners ages 6 to 96, based on Grand Sextets by Dvo?ák and Mendelssohn, with collaborative narration from the Deertrees New Repertory Company.  This is a pay-what-you-can event.

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