Music by the Mountain said it is grateful to the Rimsky Korsakov quartet and Sai, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and all lovers of classical music for supporting this world class concert in the community.

Music by the Mountain said an estimated crowd of nearly 200 flooded into the Mount Shasta Seventh Day Adventist Church on Sunday, Oct. 20, to hear a world class performance of the famous Rimsky Korsakov String Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia, in collaboration with Mount Shasta based concert pianist, Dr. Chiharu Sai.

The St. Petersburg Conservatory trained quartet has performed in Mount Shasta regularly over the years.Violinists Mikhail Bondarev and Ekaterina Belisova, violist Alexei Popov and cellist Anton Andreev have been playing together worldwide for many years, resulting in seamless performances. Sunday’s concert was their debut with pianist Sai. The five of them rehearsed together for only two short days before the concert, but with a completely successful result.

The concert opened with the dramatic string quartet “Serioso,” by Ludwig van Beethoven, described by violist Popov as the result of a marriage proposal rebuff. It was created during the unsettled era of Napoleonic invasions of Vienna in the year 1814, and the composer’s deep pain, fragility and rage could be felt throughout the turbulent music, exquisitely performed by this mature quartet.

In contrast to Beethoven, the next piece was St. Petersburg composer Alexander Glasunov’s “Slavonic” quartet, written in the late 19th century. Drawing on a style of Slavonic folk tunes in their typical minor keys and dance rhythms, the strings were sometimes plucked (‘pizzicato’) rather than bowed, reminiscent of simpler peasant instruments. The final movement of the technically difficult piece ended in a frenzy of bows, strings and a fitting chromatic scale.

The last grand piece was a fantastic performance with pianist Dr. Chiharu Sai, of Anton Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major. Sai’s brilliant playing and the quartet absolutely in stride, left the spellbound audience deploying hankies, especially during the 2nd Dumka movement. Sai later confessed that energy from the first three movements resulted in an unrehearsed very brisk tempo for the fourth movement. Nevertheless, their perfect execution made for a grandiose finale, bringing the thrilled audience to its feet in thunderous applause.

Music by the Mountain said it is grateful to the Rimsky Korsakov quartet and Sai, the Seventh Day Adventist Church and all lovers of classical music for supporting this world class concert in the community.

Music by the Mountain is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization promoting classical music in South Siskiyou County. For future performances in our area and more information about the organization, visit musicbythemountain.org.