After spending the summer apart for various musical activities, Momenta is back in action! We started off our 2013-2014 season with three concerts in Pennsylvania, including some brand new repertoire, second chances, and exciting collaborations.
Our first concert was on August 28th in the beautiful little town of Kimberton, PA as part of the Kimberton Village Summer Arts Series. You can find information about events in Kimberton at walkablekimberton.org. Despite this being only the second season of their annual chamber music series, there was a fantastic audience turnout. The historic Kimberton Inn was a great location for the concert, offering a fantastic dinner menu and surprisingly good acoustics. If you make it to Kimberton for a concert we highly recommend having dinner at the Inn first! That night we performed Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 74, Momenta’s first performance of the piece, as well as Britten’s Third Quartet and our second performance of Eric Nathan’s quartet “Multitude, Solitude” which we premiered in June at the Chelsea Music Festival.
After leaving Kimberton, we stopped off in Philadelphia for rehearsals with composer/guitarist Allen Krantz and one of our favorite collaborators, pianist Charles Abramovic, both faculty members at Temple University. We then headed to Mount Gretna, PA for two concerts, marking Momenta’s fifth summer at the Gretna Music Festival. The centerpiece for our first concert there was Allen’s Piano Quartet. Written in 2011, Charlie and Momenta premiered the piece in Mount Gretna two years earlier as Hurricane Irene swept up the East Coast. The performance was not cancelled, although the theater lost power and we were forced to play in the dark with only stand lights illuminating the stage. Thankfully, we had a second chance to play the piece, this time with better weather! The concert also featured Allen joining us for Boccherini’s Quintet for guitar and strings in E major and Charlie joining us for Elgar’s Piano Quintet, both wonderful pieces and new additions to our repertoire.
Our final concert in Pennsylvania featured another exciting collaboration, this time with the fantastic Daedalus Quartet, for the closing concert of Gretna’s summer festival. We always look forward to hearing Carl Kane’s unique programming ideas for Gretna, and this year was no exception. Carl was dying to hear Enescu’s Octet for Strings, a difficult and rarely performed 40-minute work, and Momenta decided to take him up on his offer! The programmed opened with Michael performing Elliott Carter’s Figment for solo cello, and then Momenta’s second performance of Beethoven’s Op. 74 of the season. The Enescu was a perfect way to close Grenta’s summer festival. The energy and power of eight string players resonating throughout the theater may have finally drowned out Mount Gretna’s ever-present cicada chorus.