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SCMR to highlight Beethoven in virtual concert

Messenger Post Media
Monroe County Post

Society for Chamber Music in Rochester is continuing its 44th season with “Beethoven’s Pastoral and Montgomery,” which will be streamed online at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 and 4 p.m. Nov. 30. 

The free concert was performed and recorded in the Vanden Brul Pavilion at the Memorial Art Gallery. It was held in memory of local artist and SCMR supporter Robert Marx, whose work is displayed at MAG and museums and galleries across the world. 

“This iconic and reverberant space brought back many happy memories of past SCMR seasons at MAG, combined with the pleasure of enjoying the phenomenal art collection on display,” co-artistic director Juliana Athayde said. 

“Beethoven’s Pastoral and Montgomery” features Athayde and Thomas Rodgers, violin; Marc Anderson and Aaron Mossburg, viola; and Christopher Haritatos and Benjamin Krug, cello.

“Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 ‘Pastoral’ is a favorite of musicians and music lovers throughout the world,” co-artistic director Erik Behr said.

Arranged by Michael Gotthard Fischer for string sextet and published around the same time as the full symphony, this version called for smaller numbers of performers and allowed the work to be heard far and wide. 

Beethoven’s nature walks in the Viennese countryside would have looked very similar to the Finger Lakes region. Athayde and Behr hope the audience will draw from their own memories of time spent outdoors in upstate New York while they enjoy this performance. 

Composer Jessie Montgomery’s string quartet “Strum” utilizes the spirit of dance and American folk idioms, starting with a nostalgic atmosphere and ending with an ecstatic celebration. 

“Within ‘Strum,’ I utilized texture motives, layers of rhythmic or harmonic ostinato that string together to form a bed of sound for melodies to weave in and out,” Montgomery said. “The strumming pizzicato serves as a texture motive and the driving rhythmic underpinning of the piece.” 

Visit chambermusicrochester.org for streaming details.

Juliana Athayde and Erik Behr, co-artistic directors of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester.