Midsummer’s Million Dollar Quartet is a hypothetical version of the 1956 impromptu jam session between Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Instead of Cash, Franz Joseph Haydn is on violin. Instead of Elvis, Mozart plays viola. Johann Vanhal (cello) and Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (violin) instead of Lewis and Perkins. They met in the plush Viennese residence of Stephen Storace and his sister, Nancy, somewhere around 1784. We know about this evening from Michael Kelly, a singer from England, and guest that evening who noted the event in his reminiscences. Herr Storace, as fly-on-the-wall that evening, has accepted Midsummer’s invitation to attend this re-creation and to tell us, via actor Mark Moede, how this historic evening progressed.
As a part of Midsummer’s continuing reference to the Celebrate Water initiative, Haydn’s “Frog” Quartet reminds us, through its croaking sounds, that all species require water, and for some like the frogs, even for procreation!
The Million Dollar Quartet Concerts are 7:00 pm June 27 at Woodwalk Gallery; 7:00 pm July 1 at a private home Salon concert in Egg Harbor; 7:00 pm July 2 at the Old Gibraltar Town Hall in Fish Creek; and 7:00 pm July 19 at a private home Salon concert in Sister Bay. Most concerts are $29 for adults, $10 for students, and children 12 and under are free, and concerts are usually followed by a reception to meet the musicians. Salon concerts at private homes are $60 for adults and $40 for students. Woodwalk Gallery invites concertgoers to bring their own picnics at 5:00 and requests picnic table reservations by calling 920-629-4877.
Collaborations have become a norm for Midsummer’s Music. In particular, Midsummer’s Music explores the connections between music, visual art and written word. We are fortunate to have great partners in Write-on Door County and Woodwalk Gallery. Throughout the season, concertgoers can hear a new poem or see a new work of art created in response to the music selections of the particular program. In most cases we get to meet the artist or poet and hear how they were inspired in a new creation. Hear a new poem in each series including Friday, June 29, at the UUF in Ephraim and Monday, July 2, at the Old Gibraltar Town Hall in Fish Creek. The first artist collaboration is Wednesday, June 27.
The From Homespun to Exotic program includes Schubert’s Notturno, Haydn’s Piano Trio, and Raff’s Piano Trio No. 2. The three German/Austrian composers stretch the boundaries of their native existence via their music. Schubert was known for his intimate gatherings where friends shared music and poetry in someone’s home. These Shubertiaden, as these evenings were called, were filled with jovial friends as they talked and listened to music into the wee, small hours. The Notturno is a beautiful example of what might have been heard in this intimate, homespun atmosphere.
Haydn was also basically a homebody, but he travelled late in life to England for two extended trips that resulted in his 12 London Symphonies; however, he also took imaginary musical trips to exotic places, as in the Gypsy-style music incorporated into the last movement of his G Major Trio.
Raff does the same thing in the last movement of his Trio, although this trip takes him to Turkey with much bravura and swagger.
The Homespun to Exotic concerts are 7:00 pm June 29 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim; 3:00 pm June 30 at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay; and 7:00 pm July 3 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay. Tickets for these concerts are $29 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children 12 and under.
Subscriptions consisting of four concert tickets and flex-packs of six or eight tickets are available. Tickets, subscriptions and flex-packs can be ordered online at midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088.
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Festival has drawn on the extraordinary talent of professional musicians and artist/faculty of universities throughout the Midwest. Offering chamber music for winds, strings, and piano performed in intimate and unique settings throughout Door County, venues include art galleries, churches, and private homes. From such masters as Mozart, Schubert, and Dvořák to some lesser-known but very accomplished composers, each concert is an unforgettable musical experience.
The 2018 season runs June 15 – September 3.