July 19 Concert - Shostakovich's String Quartet, No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

July 19 Concert - Shostakovich's String Quartet, No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

It is certainly a tribute in memory of humanity lost. The official Soviet statement regarding Quartet No. 8 was made by the second violinist of the Beethoven Quartet, the chamber ensemble that played the premiere performance of the piece. He said, “In this music, there is a portrait of Shostakovich, the musician, the citizen and the protector of peaceful and progressive humanity.

Fran's Corner - An Introduction

Here I am in Fran’s Corner, excited to share thoughts about Manchester Music Festival’s 2018 Concert Series. My hope is to increase your joy in the music you will be hearing each week by highlighting one of the works on the program. A bit of information about the composer, a look into the art and political world at the time the work was written, and some insights into the music offered will be the core of this weekly blog

The intent of the blog is to enlarge upon Adam Neiman’s most excellent concert notes to be found in the weekly program brochure and to give a few hints on how to listen to a given work. There will be a few anecdotes and back stories about the “birth” of a composition. Most of all I hope to pique your interest and add to your pleasure of attending a live performance each week.

A little bit about ”in hall experience” seems appropriate. This experience is the combination of the sound and visual “theater” of live performance. No live performance is ever the same, unlike listening to even the finest of recordings. In the hall there is a strong, viable relationship between the artist on stage and the listener. This connection is what makes live performance so compelling. I, personally, find this especially true for Chamber and small ensemble concerts. The musicians communicate with each other continually. They nod to each other, they look at each to begin and end phrases, they move freely. Their expressions reveal their emotional reactions to the materials they are playing. All this engages us, the audience, in the very process of making music. And yes, musicians feed off the reactions of an audience even as we, in the seats, are emotionally drawn into a performance. It is a vital symbiotic relationship. Chamber music is to be enjoyed “up close and personal”. (I have listed two wonderfully interesting interviews with Adam Neiman, MMF’s amazing Artistic Director, below. The first is titled Accessible and Meaningful Programming. The other speaks to Live Performance Synergy. One reveals the thoughtful considerations involved in constructing a “menu” of music. The other explores the relationship between a performer and the audience. Do listen to both interviews!)

So much for my introducing myself. I would very much like you to come sit in my corner each week and explore one of the offerings on the next MMF program. Whether the music is ebullient, sad, dramatic,”new”, “classic”, boldly dissonant, or oh, so comfortably, harmonic, I will endeavor to give some in-sights into the piece on hand, hoping to enrich your concert experience for the next Thursday concert.

Come up the hill on Thursdays for all that MMF has to offer! Each week there will be a short concert in the afternoon performed by the talented musicians to be heard that evening. Later, just before each concert, attend Adam’s informative and delightful weekly pre-concert talk, and then, of course, join us for the best of Chamber Music each Thursday evening. I hope to see you on the 12th of July at the Opening Concert of MMF’s 2018 Festival!

- Fran Rosenthal

 

Grammy Nominee and world-renowned concert pianist Adam Neiman joins me to speak about the composition and performance of classical music and its impact on our current culture.

 

Grammy Nominee and world-renowned concert pianist Adam Neiman joins me to speak about the composition and performance of classical music and its impact on our current culture.