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Hopeless Romantics
Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Schubert on Bach's Lunch program

By John Masson

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Perhaps the best measure of a piece of music is the fervor with which it is loathed by its composer.

That seemed to be the case for Sergei Rachmaninoff and his Prelude in C# Minor, anyway.

John Patrick Clayton, 1L"He was asked to play it as an encore so much that he hated the piece," said John Patrick Clayton, a Michigan Law 1L who was preparing to play the Prelude as part of the Law School Classical Music Society's first Bach's Lunch of 2011. (See a slideshow of the concert.)

The Society—organized by students, with faculty participation—promotes an understanding and appreciation in the Law School community of the complexities and beauty of classical music.

Rachmaninoff may have grown to hate it, but the same could not be said of the appreciative group of students, faculty, staff, and members of the public who gathered Feb. 22 to hear Clayton play the Rachmaninoff piece, along with Frederic Chopin's Waltz in C# Minor. The two piano compositions were followed by the first movement of Franz Schubert's Quintet in C Major, performed by other members of the Law School's Classical Music Society.

"This was his last instrumental work," said cellist Ted Parson of the Quintet. One of Schubert's "vast tranquil soundscapes," as Parson described Schubert's work, the Quintet was written in August of 1828, just two months before the composer died at age 31.

Parson, the Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law and a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, was joined for the Quintet by Stephanie Yoshida, violin; Benjamin Bodnar, violin; David Aaron (husband of visiting professor Marjorie Corman Aaron), viola; and Alex Sarch, cello.

The lunch-hour program represents the CMS's only program at the Law School for the winter term. But their Second Annual Law School Recital is scheduled for 8 p.m. April 1 at the First Congregational Church in Ann Arbor.

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