Last Saturday yours truly was treated to a wonderful evening of music presented by The Sherman Chamber Ensemble. Artistic Director and cellist, Eliot Bailen, presented a program consisting of Haydn, Beethoven and Ravel. The venue was the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse in Sherman, Connecticut, just four miles from the Akin Hall Library on Quaker Hill.
The first selection was a transcription of the Haydn Symphony No. 104 “London" for chamber quintet. The talented Susan Rotholz joined a quartet of string musicians on flute. The familiar last movement 'Allegro Spiritoso" was performed with great verve.
Next came the Beethoven Opus 135. The composition was the last full work "Ludwig Van" completed. He was entirely deaf at the time, and so this is an amazing insight into his brilliance. This work with its complex themes contrasted with the delightful Haydn.
Much has been written about the meaning of the two pieces of melodic material in the “Finale" with a few words from Beethoven written under the notes of the score like a song. First comes the question “Muss es sein?” (Must it be?) Then a quick reply "Es muss sein!" (It must be! It must be!) I however, just enjoyed the performance of the skillful musicians. Opus 135 is rarely played in public because of its difficulty.
After the intermission we were treated to the romantic themes of the Ravel String Quartet in F Major. The contrast to the intellectual Beethoven was evident in the group’s lush interpretation of this romantic staple.
Upon exiting the clubhouse we were met with the reflection of the 'Super Moon' on the lake followed by wine, cheese, and good company. I saw a number of Pawling residents at the reception talking with the musicians.
Take a walk on the wild side and try driving over the state border to experience this immersion of chamber music played by expert musicians from New York City. The ticket prices are very reasonable, or you can sit outside for a reduced price of $10 with your lawn chair and a glass of wine.
*Next concert dates are August 16 and 30 at Lake Maeweehoo in Sherman or August 15 and 29 at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent, Connecticut. Concert info and ticket purchase are available