Ready for something a little bit . . . different? Experiencing a lot of different emotions these days? Do you ever enjoy the appetizers more than the meal?
Join us THIS Monday evening at 7:00 pm, live online at fumcfw.org/live, for the premiere concert of Spectrum Chamber Music Society’s Fall season, another Six-Feet-Apart concert livestreamed from our beautiful First Church sanctuary.
Spectrum Director Dan Sigale says that what excites him most about this program is its varied program, chamber music appetizers, if you will, to give people who aren’t as familiar with chamber music a great entry-level experience and opportunity to really see the wide range of music that exists within classical music, especially for small ensembles such as the one performing Monday night.
“You could even say that the three shorter string quartets are like “a meal of appetizers,” he quips, referring to the highly varied program in store for our growing online audience of First Church members, friends, and online guests.”These three pieces are from very different time periods and express very different emotions,” he adds.
This eclectic mix of music ranges from the late 1700s to 2012, with three different quartet pieces that are only one movement each. These three short pieces written a little over 100 years apart from one another include Mozart’s music from the late 1700s and Anton Webern, written in the early 1900s. The most recent piece is called Strum, written by Jessie Montgomery and finalized in 2012.
“It’s a wide range of dates — and a wide range of emotions,” Sigale says, “showing different moods, different sides of the string quartet. Three very different types of pieces. We’re really excited about that.”
Sigale says that the Mozart piece, Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, is dramatic, with foreboding intensity elements that feel almost like anger. “It’s a strong, powerful, intense piece,” he adds. “Even though he wasn’t angry, it sounds kind of like that. This fugue is also in C minor, so that gives it even more of a severe feel.”
In contrast, Sigale explains that the Webern piece, Langsamer Satz (Slow Movement), is about young love and is beautiful and unabashedly romantic. And Strum, written by living composer Jessie Montgomery, is just pure joy and dancing. “As you might guess from the title, the string instruments sound more like guitars in some places,” he adds. Finally, there is the clarinet piece, the Clarinet Quintet by Carl Maria von Weber. Sigale explains that Weber wrote this piece in the early 1800s, and his style bridges the gap between Mozart and Beethoven. “It is essentially a concerto for clarinet and strings, with a high level of virtuosity,” he adds. “This piece is technically very challenging for the clarinet, with parts that are very vocal-like. Because Weber was an opera composer, he almost treats the clarinet like a human voice.”
Continuing upon the success of its first “Six-Feet-Apart” concert livestreamed from our Sanctuary in June, Sigale says this unusual concept was a great experience for the musicians as well and those who viewed it. “We felt that the concert was a great success,” he adds, “and we are so excited to get to do another one!”
Excited, too, with what he calls “another silver lining to this COVID-19 cloud,” Sigale says the online streaming of Spectrum’s June 18 concert dramatically expanded its audience base. Attracting not only local fans, but audience members from all over the country, and even some from other parts of the world, Spectrum was introduced, he believes, to a broader audience and people who might not otherwise attend a chamber music concert. “I think the low threshold of being in your own living room listening in your PJs makes this wonderfully enriching music experience more accessible to the average listener and non-intimidating to those who don’t know much about classical music,” he says. “I think our June concert was heard by a lot of people who would never go to a chamber music concert, but listening while sitting in their living room is quite different. Hopefully, when we’re back in person, we’ll have created some new chamber music enthusiasts!”
So, join us as we continue this new First Church tradition this Monday night by getting comfy, settling in with a beverage, and enjoying some of the area’s top musicians playing three distinctly different pieces sure to whet your appetite for more classical and chamber music in the future!