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This weekend, Musical Masterworks closes the keyboard cover for a pair of concerts that think big about strings.
The Old Lyme chamber music series will assemble a talented ensemble that includes returning violinist Jennifer Frautschi to perform two of the most welcome heart-of-the-repertoire works for a string quartet-plus: Mozart's String Quintet in D Major, K. 593, and Tchaikovsky's wonderfully entertaining, showstopper string sextet "Souvenir de Florence."
A familiar face as an orchestral soloist and chamber player in the Northeast, Frautschi will be joined by violinist Amy Schwartz-Moretti, violists Che-Hung Chen and Max Mandel, and cellists Peter Stumpf and series artistic director Edward Arron.
The two chamber concert staples will bookend at performance of Chinese-American composer Chen Yi's "Sound of the Five" for String Quintet, a work Arron describes as translating the sounds and styles of five different traditional Chinese instruments into Western styles.
With all of this - and after Tchaikovsky's joyous romp of a sextet - folks should walk out wondering, who needs a piano?
- MILTON MOORE
Musical Masterworks, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme; $35, $5 student tickets; (860) 434-2252, musicalmasterworks.org.