Uh-oh. You know the festival is winding down when you start seeing a few rows of empty seats at the Dock Street Chamber Series. As I took my seat for Friday morning’s concert, I felt a sharp pang of impending loss, since — after this one — there’s only a single program to go.

“Today we’re celebrating girl power,” said host Geoff Nuttall as he appeared to introduce the morning’s first music, the Piano Quintet No. 1 in A Minor, by 19th-century French female composer Louise Farrenc, probably the most successful lady tunesmith of her male-dominated era. By dint of sheer talent and achievement, she enjoyed a distinguished performing career and became a respected professor of piano (for 30 years) at the Paris Conservatory. Her remarkable music has fallen into comparative obscurity — undeservedly so, considering its rare craftsmanship and immediate musical appeal, qualities that were in ample evidence here.

  • Louise Farrenc

Modeled loosely after Schubert’s famous Trout Quintet (we’ll hear it in the final program), she used the same unusual instrumentation (a double bass instead of a second violin), but that’s where the similarity ends.

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