Shanghai String Quartet performs Beethoven Quartet Cycle Program #5 plus Jive by Five

America’s longest running summer chamber music festival, Music Mountain, continues its summer of Beethoven on Sunday, July 8 (3pm) when the Shanghai Quartet performs Beethoven Quartet Cycle Program #5. The Connecticut favorite Jive By Five kicks off the weekend playing the best of the jazz age on Saturday, July 7 (6:30pm)! Concerts are scheduled through September 23.

Sunday afternoon welcomes back the Shanghai Quartet performing Beethoven Quartet Cycle Program #5: String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 130 – the massive work including Beethoven’s plea for happiness and peace, the Cavatina; and String Quartet in F Major, Op. 59 #1 “Rasumovsky.” The Rasumovsky Quartets, and this one in particular, broke with previous conventions and expanded the scope of quartet writing, opening with a grand cello solo that leads to a nearly-orchestral sound within just a few bars. The F Major Rasumovsky Quartet was one of the favorite works of the Gordon String Quartet, Music Mountain’s founding quartet. In fact, during the 1931 season, Music Mountain’s second season, the Quartet played it twice.

The technical and emotional scope of the Beethoven Cycle makes it the ultimate challenge for a string quartet. Described as challenging, intimate and graceful, and tumultuous, the Cycle includes some of the greatest works in Beethoven’s entire output. “The Beethoven Cycle as a whole provides a cathartic experience for the listener, it takes you through the emotions of a lifetime,” noted Music Mountain artistic director, Oskar Espina-Ruiz.

Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. The Quartet has a long history of championing new music and juxtaposing traditions of Eastern and Western music.

A Connecticut favorite returns! Jive By Five plays the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and more on Saturday evening. At the helm is the charming, jazz-loving, hard-swinging drummer Bob Parker, surrounded on stage by Scott Heth, Piano; Joe Salamone Bass; Paul Boehmke, Alto Sax; Charlie Weyant, Tenor Sax and Clarinet; Chris Parker, Drums; and Jim Fryer, Trombone. From the Charleston, to the Two-Step, to the Fox Trot, this much-loved group will have the crowd dancing all evening!

The Saturday Evening Twilight Series features pre-concert dinners at the charming Falls Village Inn. Experience a piece of history built over 175 years ago that helped shape the history of Falls Village.

Music Mountain is located in Falls Village, Connecticut on Music Mountain Road, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Music Mountain is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission On Culture & Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chamber music concerts continue with Escher String Quartet with 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, piano (July 15); Penderecki String Quartet with Victoria Schwartzman, piano (July 22); Harlem String Quartet with Fei-Fei Dong, piano (July 29); and Avalon String Quartet with Soyeon Kate Lee, piano (August 5).

The Saturday Evening Twilight Series continues with Helen Sung Quartet (July 14); Peter & Will Anderson Quartet (July 21); Swingtime Big Band (July 28); and Jimmy Greene Quartet (August 4).

Specially Priced Concerts include: Labor Day Benefit Concert & Reception on Sunday, September 2. All tickets $75. Special Concert & Wine Reception to Celebrate the Completion of the Beethoven Quartet Cycle on Sunday, September 9. All tickets: $60.

Regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts are $35. Twilight Series Concerts are $30. Concert & Dinner Passes are available for all Twilight Series Concerts for $70; includes Pre-Concert Dinner (5pm) at The Falls Village Inn, a Litchfield County landmark – Classic American comfort fare, seasonal – and 6:30pm Twilight Concert at Music Mountain. Dinner reservations must be made no later than the Friday prior to concert date by calling the Music Mountain box office at 860-824-7126.

Children ages 5-18 are admitted FREE to ALL CONCERTS when accompanied by a ticket holder. Saturday evening Twilight Concerts are at 6:30 pm. Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts are at 3 pm. Discounts apply through participating organizations. For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form visit musicmountain.org or call (860) 824-7126.

Music Mountain, 225 Music Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT 06031

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