Silent Film Music and other Sounding Off

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy 200th, Chopin! and other Music Mountain treats

Happy birthday to that romantic of romantics, Frederic Chopin, who was born 200 years ago this month. Music Mountain will celebrate this event with three substantial works of his, all to be heard there for the first time. The season opens on June 13 with Ciceley Parnas and Peter Serkin performing the Cello Sonata on a program that includes the Debussy Violin Sonata and the Ravel Trio, with violinist Madalyn Parnas.

Both of Chopin's popular piano concertos will follow, transcribed for piano quintet and performed by the St. Petersburg Quartet with Irina Morozova (No. 1, July 25) and the Penderecki Quartet with Jan Lisiecki (No. 2, July 11). The festival will also be graced with a string of other novel local premieres. The 20th century works include a seven-movement crossover piece from 1995 by Wynton Marsalis, the Bassoon Quintet by New England-based composer Russell Platt, and Paul Chihara's arrangement of the classic Strayhorn tune, “Take the A Train,” all played by the Harlem Quartet on July 18 as an Operating Fund Benefit.

Dipping into unexplored older repertoire, director Nicholas Gordon has come up with a quartet transcription of Bach's Chaconne, to be played by the St. Petersburg on Aug. 22, and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel's Quartet in Eb on Aug. 15 in the hands of the DaPonte String Quartet. Returning perennial favorites include the Ravel Quartet (July 18), Schumann's Piano Quintet (July 31), and, to help celebrate the festival's 81st anniversary, the

As always, there a number of special jazz, dance and ethnic music concerts on the calendar, beginning with Sat. June 19, an evening of swing with Alan Simon and his band (dancing optional). Klezmer music with the Alexander Fiterstein Duo prances in on June 27, while on July 3 it's Falls Village Day, featuring trombonist Peter McEachern, cellist David Darling and others in a mixture of jazz, blues and chamber music. Complete season schedule and tickets at or 860-824-7126. To whet your appetite for all of this, tune into Sharon radio WHDD 91.9 each Saturday at noon or Sunday at 9 p.m. for rebroadcasts of previous concerts

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