Mihae Lee, music director, Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival Submitted photo

The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival wraps up with the 5th and final concert of its 51st season at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at Deertrees Theatre in Harrison. There will also be music on the lawn from 6:15-7:10 p.m. featuring young musicians from Camp Encore Coda located in Sweden, Maine.

The SLLMF program includes
BARTÓK: Romanian Folk Dances for Cello and Piano
BEETHOVEN: Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola, Op. 25
FRANCK: Piano Quintet in F Minor

Artists include Laura Gilbert, flute; Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin; Todd Phillips, violin; Matthew Sinno, viola; Mihai Marica, cello and Mihae Lee, piano.

Over a hundred years ago, a young Bartok became captivated by the indigenous folksongs and performances of the Hungarian, Slovak and Romanian countryside. He collected, catalogued and classified thousands of folk melodies untouched by modern civilization. His goal was to extract the essence of the music and turn it into an art form. The Romanian collections, with their unique harmonies and rhythms, proved to be a particularly rich trove. Tonight’s Romanian Folk Dances is one result of these years of work.

The Folk Dances consist of six colorful miniatures, each with its own character. In addition to their obvious charms, they represent a succinct compendium of the folk elements that Bartok would absorb and make his own, including flexible tempos, irregular rhythms, asymmetrical phrases, dissonant harmonies, and the distinctive tonality that he described in his Autobiography as “emancipation from the exclusive rule of the traditional major-minor system.”

In addition to compositions by master composers of the Baroque and Classical periods, newer more contemporary 20th century composers have been featured each week, including George Gershwin, Paul Ben Haim, Erno Dohnanyi, Zoltan Kodaly, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, Camille Saint-Saens, and Bela Bartok. In recent years, women composers such as Amy Beach were featured.  Last year, for the Festival’s 50th anniversary, SLLMF commissioned The Lake Guide composed by University of Maine-Orono professor, artist and composer Beth Wiemann.

Like many organizations in Maine, SLLMF seeks to reach young audiences who may be new to chamber music. As part of that effort, the festival sponsors a Youth Program with music on the lawn with young musicians in Maine before each festival concert at Deertrees. And those under 21 years of age are admitted to all SLLMF concerts free of charge. Next year, plans are in place to host more community concerts for children and young adults.

For more information about the festival and to order tickets, go to https://sebagomusicfestival.org/concert-tickets-2023/. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office the evening of the concert. If you would like to be on the Festival’s mailing list or you would like to volunteer, reach out to trustee Carol Madsen at Carol@sllmf.org.

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