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Size Matters 

Classical music group does more onstage than your average ensemble.

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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