Musical Masterworks: Where'd the piano go?

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi returns to Musical Masterworks this weekend.
Violinist Jennifer Frautschi returns to Musical Masterworks this weekend.

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.

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