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The baryton is a relative of the bass viol but with a double set of strings.Baroque Music Montana

March 20, 2023

“In its beginnings, music was chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.”  - Gustav Mahler 

Mahler said his giant symphonies contained the world. Still, he was also correct in observing how chamber music, in its concentrated essence, could contain an entire universe in a drop of water. This week, three outstanding chamber music concerts allow you to enter new worlds of intimate musical expression via two trios and one quartet.

The Merz Trio takes the stage (live stream, too) at the Duluth Matinee Musicale. Their program, Night Journey, uses a Schubert Piano Trio as a point of entry to the world of night as experienced by composers as diverse as Alban Berg, Florence Price and Thelonius Monk.

The Ames Quartet heads north from its Iowa home to perform at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minnesota, on Thursday evening.

The Valencia Baryton Project finds its way to Grand Forks for the… Bary-what?? The baryton resembles a cello but has frets like a guitar and a second set of strings that can be plucked or left untouched to resonate with the other strings. Haydn composed more than 120 trios for the instrument. Though now largely forgotten, the Valencia Baryton Project keeps the flame burning at the North Dakota Museum of Art’s Sunday Concerts in the Galleries.

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.