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On March 11, 2011 the Music of the Spheres Society will present a chamber music concert featuring works by César Franck and his circle, including music by his teacher Anton Reicha and friends Gabriel Fauré, Ernst Chausson, and Eugène Ysaÿe.

The concert will take place on at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, which is located near Lincoln Center at 120 West 69th Street in New York City.  The heart of the program features Franck’s compelling Piano Quintet, along with a piano trio (Opus 101, No. 3) by Reicha, short works by Chausson and Fauré, and Ysaÿe’s String Trio.

The String Trio (Le Chimay, which is also the name of a Belgian Trappist ale brewed in that city), was composed in 1927 by Eugène Ysaÿe but never published.  It was discovered in manuscript form only about ten years ago and first performed by the Gaede Trio.  In a review of a 2004 performance, Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed wrote that

‘Le Chimay’ might be described as French Expressionism with a bit of Surrealism thrown in. It also might be described as just plain weird. It is full of extravagant string writing, which is to be expected, but not the seemingly incompatible influences of Debussy, Franck and Schoenberg, who get along just fine here.  Agitated melodramatic passages half resolve into intoxicating lyricism. Storm clouds come and go, propelled by unpredictable breezes. Nothing ever settles for long.

Violinist and Artistic Director Stephanie Chase will be joined by violinist Harumi Rhodes, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, ‘cellist Sophie Shao, and pianist William Wolfram.

The concert starts at 8:15 p.m. A pre-concert talk bill be given at 7:30 p.m. by organologist and author Stewart Pollens  and is included in concert admission: “Francois-Xavier Tourte and the Invention of the Modern Violin Bow.”

Admission at door: $30 adult, $15 student/senior requested contribution. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

Visit www.musicofthespheres.org for more information.

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