For some people Sunday is a day of rest. For me it was another musical whiplash day.
It started with Vivaldi’s beautiful and familiar Spring from the Four Seasons written in 1723, then moved on to a world premiere of a quartet finished just a couple of weeks ago. Next, we headed to Eastern Europe for Yiddish and Hassidic songs, then a whole concert of music written in the past decade including a piece created by holding a stethoscope microphone to a MacBook, and we ended with well-known country and folk songs and originals by Rosanne Cash.
With that much music and that much range, there was much to like and not like. The Vivaldi was part of an expansive chamber music concert that spanned many centuries and configurations from that Spring, always good to hear when performed so well. There was also an Arnold Bax sonata for the misunderstood and underrated viola, the premiere of an adventuresome quartet by young composer Sam Adams (see earlier posting for more details), and a truly “grand duo” with clarinet player Todd Palmer and pianist Pavel Kolesnikov by Carl Maria Von Weber. In this case, there was nothing to not like except the concert ran too long (as least for those of us who had places to be and things to write.)
The Strauss/Warschauer Duo, a husband and wife singing, playing guitar and violin, were in town as part of Piccolo’s World of Jewish Culture. Performing at Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, founded in 1749 and the fourth oldest Jewish congregation in the country, the duo presented a causal concert with stories, a bit of history, and singalongs. The group never really built up much steam and audience participation was minimal, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Composer and performer Nathan Davis was what the second Music in Time Concert was all about. Working with about 20 members of the festival orchestra, he presented five works from the past decade showing his enormous range including the aforementioned rather random amplification of a computer’s churning innards, a solo bassoon (with processing and looping) that really explored what can go on with that old wooden tube, and a piece that used violin, cello, and unusual percussion to capture and redefine weather patterns.