music

Quartet Kicks off CMYS

The Chamber Music Yellow Springs season opens Sunday, Oct. 2, with a return visit by the renowned Brentano String Quartet. A pre-concert talk by Professor Chuck Larkowski begins at 6:45 p.m. and the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. There will be a post-concert dinner and reception, for which a reservation is necessary.

In a bold stroke, the Brentano will begin their concert with Beethoven’s last work, the Quartet Op. 135, a mostly light-hearted piece with a rather Zen-like irreverence for heavy philosophizing. They will conclude with Beethoven’s Op. 132 quartet, which includes the famous hymn of thanksgiving on recovering from illness, one of the composer’s most heartfelt and reverent movements. Beethoven studied comparative theology, and these works draw on ideas from Deism and Hinduism.

The Brentano will also play “Miserere,” the newest quartet of Louis Andriessen, Holland’s greatest composer. Like Beethoven, who was also Dutch, Catholic and a political liberal, Andriessen writes many-layered pieces fusing radically new ideas with medieval mysticism. The Miserere, which here means “Lord, have mercy,” has the same structure as the famous Miserere by baroque composer Gregorio Allegri, which was, in turn, modeled on Gregorian chant. Andriessen quotes his own work, “Facing Death,” written for Charlie Parker. The composer’s father and uncle, also distinguished composers, were imprisoned for resistance to the Nazis in World War II, and Louis Andriessen refers to Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked…”

Praised as “the best of the latest generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Brentano Quartet is Mark Steinberg, Serena Canin, Misha Amory and Nina Lee. They last played in Yellow Springs in 1998, to a full house.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $6 for students, and may be purchased online at www.cmys.org. Tickets or seats at the dinner may be reserved by calling 937-374-8800. Audience members arriving after 7:20 p.m. may have trouble finding seats.

For information on upcoming concerts, visit www.cmys.org.

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