Le­nape Cham­ber Ensem­ble to open 45th sea­son

The Morning Call - - CLASSICAL - By Steve Siegel

The Le­nape Cham­ber Ensem­ble opens its 45th sea­son of cham­ber mu­sic Fri­day, Oct. 11 at Up­per Tinicum Lutheran Church in Up­per Black Eddy and Sun­day, Oct. 13 at Delaware Val­ley Univer­sity’s Life

Sci­ences Build­ing au­di­to­rium in Doylestown. Fea­tured are dra­mat­i­cally con­trast­ing works by Beethoven, Ives, and Saint-Saëns.

Open­ing the pro­gram is Beethoven’s String Quar­tet in C Mi­nor, Opus 18 No. 4. Beethoven waited un­til his thir­ties be­fore com­pos­ing any string quar­tets at all. His first works in this genre fol­low tech­niques he learned from study­ing the string quar­tet of Mozart and Haydn, and sev­eral el­e­ments in the C Mi­nor quar­tet are rem­i­nis­cent of the style of these two com­posers. It is the only one of its group of six that is writ­ten in a mi­nor key, and as such, presents many in­ter­est­ing mood changes.

Per­form­ing the work are vi­o­lin­ists Cyrus Ber­oukhim, a mem­ber of the New York City Bal­let Orches­tra, Emily Daggett Smith, found­ing first vi­o­lin­ist of the Tessera Quar­tet; vi­o­list Cather­ine Bee­son, as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal vi­o­list with the Colorado Sym­phony; and Al­berto Par­rini, prin­ci­pal cel­list of the North­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia Phil­har­monic.

Charles Ives, born in 1874 and of­ten called the orig­i­nal Yan­kee mav­er­ick of Amer­i­can clas­si­cal mu­sic, wrote his Sonata No. 2 for Vi­olin and Piano in 1917, re­vis­ing it in 1919. Like much of his mu­sic, this sonata is nos­tal­gic, con­tain­ing themes from Ives’ New

Eng­land child­hood, rag­time dances, and snip­pets of old pop­u­lar tunes. Emily Daggett Smith and world-renowned pi­anist Mar­can­to­nio Barone per­form this vivid and pop­u­lar piece.

Camille Saint-Saëns’ mu­sic was roundly crit­i­cized in 1892 as ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive and out of style. But to spite his crit­ics, the com­poser an­nounced his new­est “atroc­ity” by pro­duc­ing his Piano Trio No. 2 in E

Mi­nor, which later be­came known as “the great­est French piano trio of the 19th cen­tury.” Mar­can­to­nio Barone is joined by Cyrus Ber­oukhim and Al­berto Par­rini in this work of so many sur­pris­ing moods, from its dark and omi­nous Al­le­gro non troppo open­ing to it lyri­cal, ro­man­tic An­dante con moto.

Le­nape Cham­ber Ensem­ble, 8:15 p.m. Fri­day,

Oct. 11, Up­per Tinicum Lutheran Church, Up­per Black Eddy; 3 p.m. Sun­day, Oct. 13, Delaware Val­ley Univer­sity, 700 E. But­ler Ave., Doylestown. Tick­ets: $18 adults, $15 se­niors and stu­dents, $5 chil­dren un­der 12. 610-294-9361, www.le­nape cham­berensem­ble.org

Singer/song­writer Justin Solonyhka at UUCC in Beth­le­hem

Now in its 10th sea­son, the Sec­ond Sun­day Con­cert Series at the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church of the Lehigh Val­ley in Beth­le­hem has been a show­case for lo­cal and re­gional mu­si­cians, in ad­di­tion to bring­ing in world­wide tal­ent. Its open­ing con­cert of the 2019-2020 sea­son on Sun­day, Oct. 13 brings to us singer/song­writer Justin Solonynka, a Bucks County na­tive who will present a vir­tu­osic piano blend of folk, rock, and jazz.

For over 20 years, Solonynka has per­formed his eclec­tic mu­si­cal blend for au­di­ences up and down the East Coast. He com­bines orig­i­nal songs and beau­ti­ful in­stru­men­tals with his gift for sto­ry­telling to cre­ate shows that are en­joyed by au­di­ences of all ages. He’s a fre­quent per­former at God­frey Daniels, and has col­lab­o­rated with other mu­si­cians fa­mil­iar to Lehigh Val­ley au­di­ences, in­clud­ing jazz sax­o­phon­ist Neil Wet­zel, and cel­list Deb­bie Davis.

Solonynka is truly a multi-tal­ented artist who has been known to play trom­bone, pen­ny­whis­tle, mal­let per­cus­sion, gui­tar, melod­ica and drums, though he ad­mits to not play­ing them all at once. His list of mu­si­cal col­lab­o­ra­tions is a long one, rang­ing from an al­ter­na­tive folk quar­tet to a jazz-funk-rock combo, two con­tra folk dance groups, and a jazz quar­tet.

A math­e­mat­ics teacher at Abing­ton Friends School, Solonynka lives out­side of Philadelph­ia with his wife and daugh­ter, lots of books, a few plants and a col­lec­tion of mu­si­cal in­stru­ments from all over the world.

Con­cert guests are in­vited to meet the artist at a post-con­cert re­cep­tion.

Singer/song­writer Justin Solonynka, 3 p.m. Sun­day,

Oct. 13, the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church of the Lehigh Val­ley, 424 Cen­ter St., Beth­le­hem. Tick­ets: $17 gen­eral ad­mis­sion, free for stu­dents. 610-866-7652, www.con­cert­series.uu­clvpa.org

Cen­tral Mo­ra­vian Church to present ma­jor cho­ral works

On Fri­day, Oct. 11, the Cen­tral Mo­ra­vian Church in Beth­le­hem will present a pro­gram fea­tur­ing Beethoven’s Cho­ral Fantasy in C mi­nor, Op. 80, and Dan For­rest’s “Re­quiem for the Liv­ing.” Con­ducted by Don­ald Spi­eth, the con­cert will bring to­gether the 60-voice John­ston Fes­ti­val Choir of Cen­tral Mo­ra­vian Church, Fes­ti­val Orches­tra, and Becky Le­pore, piano soloist on Beethoven’s Cho­ral Fantasy and min­is­ter of mu­sic of Cen­tral Mo­ra­vian


The Cho­ral Fantasy has a most cu­ri­ous ori­gin.

Beethoven hur­riedly com­posed the work in De­cem­ber of 1808 to con­clude a marathon-length con­cert given which in­cluded the pre­miere of three move­ments from the Mass in C, the scene and aria” Ah! Per­fido,” the Fourth Piano Con­certo, the Fifth and Sixth Sym­phonies, and a freely im­pro­vised fantasy for piano, per­formed by the com­poser.

The piece, which in­cluded all the per­form­ers in that con­cert, pro­vides a fore­taste of the “Ode to Joy” fi­nale of Beethoven’s Ninth Sym­phony. “The Fantasy be­gins as a piano con­cert, sev­eral in­stru­men­tal sec­tions, and then ends with six soloists and a full cho­rus singing bits of his yet-to-be-writ­ten Ninth Sym­phony,” says Le­pore.

Fol­low­ing the Cho­ral Fantasy the choir will sing the well-known hymn “Joy­ful, We Adore Thee” as the con­cert tran­si­tions to a more solemn and con­fes­sional tone, pre­par­ing for For­rest’s pow­er­ful “Re­quiem for the Liv­ing.”

“I dis­cov­ered the mu­sic of Dan For­rest two years ago, when the choir first per­formed his Fes­ti­val Now­ell for the Christ­mas Eve Vig­ils at Cen­tral Mo­ra­vian,” Le­pore says. “An Amer­i­can com­poser born in 1978, he has this abil­ity to write mu­si­cal lines that make sense for the singer, a keen un­der­stand­ing of or­ches­tra­tion, but even more than that, a pow­er­ful gift of be­ing able to trans­port the lis­tener to a place that is ab­so­lutely and di­vinely spirit-filled.”

For­rest’s Re­quiem in­cor­po­rates the tra­di­tional litur­gi­cal text for the Re­quiem, a mass for the dead, but also in­cludes scrip­tures from both the Old Tes­ta­ment and the

New Tes­ta­ment. “It’s a state­ment that life is dif­fi­cult, but the mu­sic be­comes a pro­found prayer for the peace that only God can pro­vide,” Le­pore adds.

The Estelle Borhek John­ston Me­mo­rial Con­cert was es­tab­lished in mem­ory of Estelle Borhek John­ston (1867-1952) by her daugh­ter, the late Mrs. El­iz­a­beth John­ston Jost, and her son, Archibald B. John­ston.

John­ston Me­mo­rial Fes­ti­val Con­cert, 7:30 p.m. Fri­day, Oct. 11, Cen­tral

Mo­ra­vian Church, 73 W. Church St., Beth­le­hem. Ad­mis­sion: free. 610-866-5661

Vi­o­lin­ist Emily Daggett-Smith is one of the fea­tured soloists in the open­ing pro­gram of the Le­nape Cham­ber Ensem­ble’s 45th sea­son Fri­day evening, Oct. 11, in Up­per Black Eddy and Sun­day af­ter­noon in Doylestown.


Cel­list Al­berto Par­rini is one of the fea­tured soloists in the open­ing pro­gram of the Le­nape Cham­ber Ensem­ble’s 45th sea­son Fri­day evening, Oct. 11, in Up­per Black Eddy and Sun­day af­ter­noon in Doylestown.

Singer/song­writer Justin Solonynka will present a pro­gram blend­ing folk, rock, and jazz at the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church in Beth­le­hem on Sun­day, Oct. 13.

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