Com­ing up in Philly Music: Online duets with PCMS and Dolce Suono

2 minute read
Part of PCMS's offering features two Bach inventions. (Image by Elias Gottlob Haussmann.)
Part of PCMS's offering features two Bach inventions. (Image by Elias Gottlob Haussmann.)

Nancy Bean and Lloyd Smith are still presenting their Monday evening live concerts on Facebook but they aren’t the only husband and wife team playing online duets. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has released a video featuring another marital violin and cello duo.

Two strings in a pod

J and Rachel Freivogel are members of the Jasper Quartet, a popular attraction on the PCMS roster and the current string quartet in residence at Temple. The two Bach inventions on their six-minute video project the lively complexity that constitutes one of the great attractions of Bach’s instrumental music. The brief Bagatelle by the late American composer James Tenney is a graphic example of the effort and concentration musicians put into a piece that might sound undemanding if you heard it on a recording with no visuals.

Mimi Stillman’s Dolce Suono Ensemble has carried this idea one step further with a seven-minute video featuring two husband-and-wife teams playing the scherzo from Faure’s first quartet for piano and string trio. The foursome was supposed to play the whole quartet at Dolce Suono’s May concert. Thanks to the magic of the split screen, you can watch the two couples playing in two different living rooms at the same time. Pianist Natalie Zhu plays with her husband, Philadelphia Orchestra violist Che-Hung Chen, while Orchestra violinist Juliette Kang plays with her husband, Orchestra cellist Thomas Kraines.

PCMS and Dolce Suono are both assembling video libraries that should provide happy interludes for digital explorers. The PCMS collection emphasizes full-length performances. Dolce Suono favors single-movement excerpts. Both approaches have their appeal. You can perk up your routine with a short musical break or with 40 minutes for the full reach of a complete work to get away from reality.

The Monday evening concerts by Bean and Lloyd, presented as substitutes for the 1807 & Friends chamber music series, begin at 7:30pm. Watch the live viewing online on Facebook (you don’t need an account).

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