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Beethoven birthday concert Sunday

Bethany United Methodist Church, Gloucester Point, will present a concert by renowned organist Rudy Shackelford celebrating the 250th birthday of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven at 4 p.m. Sunday at the church at 1860 Hayes Road.

Musical selections include the “Holy Song of Thanks to the Deity from a Convalescent,” expressing Beethoven’s gratitude for recovery from a serious illness. Originally composed for a string quartet, the work has been transcribed for organ/piano duet and is one of Beethoven’s most heartfelt and deeply spiritual pieces.

Another unique performance will be his dramatic “Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor,” with narrator Clair Hil-lard reciting passages from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” which inspired the music.

The program also includes a set of Viennese waltzes by Franz Schubert and J.S. Bach’s paean of thanks to God from “Cantata No. 29.”

Admission to the concert is free; donations will be accepted to benefit the Gloucester-Mathews Humane Society.

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