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CLASSICAL | "Pärt and Purcell"



For its first concert this season, First Muse brings together music by two composers who seem to have only the first letter of their last names in common but should still be surprisingly compatible program mates. Henry Purcell was England's greatest Baroque composer (and perhaps its greatest composer, period); First Muse will present a number of his theater songs, including the famous lament from his opera "Dido and Aeneas" as well as a "Fantasy on One Note" for strings. The group will also perform a suite of incidental music for the play "Abdelazar, or The Moor's Revenge," whence comes the famous theme for Benjamin Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra."

The spare, exalted minimalist musical style of the Estonian composer Arvo P#rt, who turned 80 this year, should be a nice complement to Purcell; First Muse offers two of his greatest hits, "Fratres" and "Spiegel im Spiegel," as well as the song "Es sang vor langen jahren." And there's a third "P" on the list: Daniel Pesca, whose "Chaconne" for strings and harpsichord will receive its first performance. Pesca performs on harpsichord and piano, and will be joined by soprano Pamela Kurau, violinists Tigran Vardanyan and Aika Ito, violist Melissa Matson, and cellist Ahrim Kim for this unusual and satisfying program.

"P#rt and Purcell" will be presented by First Muse on Sunday, October 4 at First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road. 7:30 p.m. $10 general, $5 students, $20 family.

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