Musical Masterworks and the pleasures of discovery

Violinist Arnaud Sussmann
Violinist Arnaud Sussmann

There's nothing like a Musical Masterworks concert to enjoy both new music and new-to-you music for the first time. The intimacy and acoustic delights of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, the casual atmosphere of the chamber music stagings and the clever selections by Artistic Director Edward Arron make even the freshest taste seem like comfort food.

For two concerts this weekend, Arron goes all mavericky (as a certain Alaskan might say) by sampling some early and odd Beethoven, a contemporary piano rag and wonderful 1998 trio by a New Hampshire native.

The Beethoven will be his String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9, No. 3 - a 1797 composition aboil with his C Minor magic (the key of his Fifth Symphony and other stormy masterpieces). The rag will be Pulitzer-winning William Bolcom's 1970 "Graceful Ghost Rag" for Solo Piano - "It brings me to tears every time I hear it," says Arron. And the trio will be the alternately jazzy and profound 1998 Piano Trio by Pierre Jalbert, a very powerful audience experience on any hearing.

The concert ends with a sit-back-and-smile late Romantic French delicacy, Chausson's Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 30.

But there's more to discover: For kids, there will be a first-ever young people's concert with the same performers and the same pizzazz at 11:30 Saturday morning, for just $5 per family. (No grown-ups unless accompanied by a kid!)

The musicians will be pianist Phillip Bush, violinist Arnaud Sussmann, violist David Harding and Edward Arron on cello.


Musical Masterworks, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme; $35, with $5 student tickets available; (860) 434-2252, Young peoples' concert, 11:30 a.m., $5 donation requested.


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