SLLMF musicians to perform this Sunday

HARRISON — The Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival musicians will be performing on Sunday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Bridgton in a concert for listeners of all ages.

Violinists Tim Lees and Phil Palermo, violist Laurie Kennedy, cellists Bonnie Thron and Eliot Bailen and flutist Susan Rotholz will guide the audience through a fantastical journey from Madrid to France to the Andes Mountains of South America through the music of Boccherini, Mozart, Debussy and Ginastera.

The concert, supported by the Robert and Dorothy Goldberg Charitable Foundation, is free; donations will be accepted.

The Festival returns to Deertrees Theatre in Harrison for the third of its Tuesday night concerts on July 31, at 7:30 p.m. “Debussy at 150” honors Claude Debussy, 150 years after his birth. The program consists of a work that shows the influence of Debussy on another composer/pianist, a great work by Debussy himself, and a work that perhaps could have been premiered by Debussy, if only it had been ready in time.

The first piece is Lyric for Strings, by George Walker, a contemporary composer and pianist, who was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for music. Originally written in memory of his grandmother when he was 19, it later became the slow movement of his String Quartet No. 1. It is a tender, melodious piece, full of dignity and sorrow, with harmonic suggestions of Debussy, whom Walker claimed to have been influenced by as a young man. Performers are Tim Lees and Phil Palermo, violins; Laurie Kennedy, viola; and Eliot Bailen, cello.

The quartet then moves on to Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10. This is the only string quartet Debussy wrote. Composed just before his very famous Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, this work represents his transition from Romanticism to Impressionism. Part traditional, part exploratory, it is at times playful, teasing, moody, musing, soaring, hinting at the new musical harmonies and sense of melting atmosphere for which Debussy became so famous.

Last on the program is Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50. This work was commissioned by Tchaikovsky’s patroness, Madame von Meck, who wanted a piece to showcase the young pianist of her “in-house” trio, Claude Debussy! However, Tchaikovsky procrastinated because he didn’t think he could reduce his symphonic scope to a trio. It took the death of a dear friend and mentor, who was also a pianist, to prompt Tchaikovsky to carry out this commission, and by then, Debussy was not around.

This is a huge, passionate work in the Romantic/Russian tradition, expressing past joys and loss. Musicians for this demanding work are Mihae Lee, piano, Timothy Lees, violin, and Bonnie Thron, cello, a trio that enjoys playing together, and which Festival audiences look forward to hearing each year. From quiet depths to outright passion, this is a luscious program — an entirely appropriate nod to Claude Debussy. Treat yourself!

Tickets for the concerts at Deertrees are $25. Tickets for anyone 21 years of age and under are free and available at the door, first-come, first-served.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.sebagomusicfestival.org or purchased at local outlets including Bridgton Books, Harrison Village Library, Country Sleigh in Naples, Books N Things in Norway and Cry of the Loon in Casco. Reservations by phone at 583-6747.

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