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Theater of the Absurd: Something about dueling pianos makes people who should never crawl across one do exactly that.

Classical Moves

By Michael S. Gant

IN ITS steady march through the chamber music playbook—the season is title "The Unfolding of Music II"—Music@Menlo spends this weekend, the third of four, exploring "The Rise of Modernism." Saturday (Aug. 2) at 8pm at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, the program will look at innovate early-20th-century composers like Stravinsky (Three Pieces for String Quartet), Ives (Selected Songs), Britten (Phantasy, op. 2) and Shostakovich (Two Pieces for String Octet). Leading the way will be the Escher String Quarter and festival co-founder David Finckel on cello. This program will repeat on Sunday at Stent Family Hall in Menlo Park at 6pm. Sunday's 10am concert at Stent Hall features the Bartók Quartet Cycle with the Borromeo String Quartet. In a related event, on Friday (Aug. 1) at 7:30pm at Martin Family Hall in Menlo Part, public radio celebrity Bruce Adolphe will explain dissonance in all its forms in a performance/lecture.

MUSIC@MENLO takes place in Menlo Park and Palo Alto and runs through Aug. 8 with a variety of concerts, youth performers and lectures. See for schedule details and ticket info.

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