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Chamber Music Northwest

8 pm Monday, June 23 at Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd and Tuesday, June 24 at Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., Monday June 23 | $15-$55.


[DIVINE DEBUSSY] As he was dying of cancer during World War I, the great French Impressionist composer Claude Debussy rallied to pull off one of the greatest last-ditch bursts of creativity in music history, writing three sonatas —for cello and piano, violin and piano and flute, viola and harp, respectively—that rank among the most beautiful ever created. To kick off its 44th summer festival, the venerable Chamber Music Northwest series brings some of America's top chamber musicians (including CMNW regulars David Shifrin, Teddy Arm, Tara Helen O'Connor and Peter Wiley, plus rising young stars) to play all three, along with two more of the composer's sensuously tuneful miniatures, Syrinx for flute and First Rhapsody for clarinet and piano, plus Portland composer David Schiff's delightful recent arrangement of music from Debussy's Children's Corner for clarinet quintet. It's enough to make us forget, for awhile at least, the tragic side of the story: that Debussy didn't live to finish the other three projected sonatas.

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