Size Matters

Classical music group does more onstage than your average ensemble.

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Fans of classical chamber music have many reasons to be grateful for Concertante. Comprised of six virtuoso string players, rather than the usual three or four, Concertante has access to a whole body of music most smaller ensembles are forced to overlook. What’s more, it regularly commissions and performs brand new works. Best of all, the young group puts a fresh, attractive face on music that’s often associated with old people. “Things are really happening for us,” says violinist Xiao-Dong Wang. “We’re going in a good direction.”

At tonight’s concert at Fairmount Temple Auditorium, Concertante will perform Lowell Liebermann’s Second Chamber Concerto, which Concertante commissioned as part of its ongoing One Plus Five new-music project. Wang chose Liebermann to write the piece and plays a prominent part in its performance. “I feel very comfortable with his music,” says Wang. “It’s almost a matter of chemistry. His music is very lyrical and melodic. It speaks to me and suits my style of playing.”

Beware: It’s not a very happy piece. Liebermann composed it while mourning the loss of a friend. The concerto is “dark and somber,” says Wang. Sorta like its companion piece on tonight’s program -- Erwin Schulhoff’s brooding String Sextet. Fortunately, it’s not all heavy. The final work, Brahms’ B-Flat Major Sextet, is as radiant and welcoming as they come. Says Wang: “You won’t find another program more contrasted than this.”
Tue., March 20, 8 p.m.

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