Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rosebud Chamber Music Festival

I went to a fantastic concert here in town last night.  It was part of the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, the second year this series has happened.  Last year the quartet also played a concert here, also on the first Friday in August.

Here's the program:
String Quartet No. 14 in G major, Mozart; String Quartet No. 3, Bela Bartok; (intermission); Violin Sonata No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 12, Beethoven; Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 57, Shostakovich.  A really nice variety of music that worked very well together, in spite of the radically different styles of music.

The members of the quartet: Violin: Aaron Schwebel and Sheila Jaffé (they took turns playing first and second violin parts), viola: Keith Hamm (the organizer, whom I have known and played in string groups with since he was an early teen), cello: Arnold Choi, and piano: Peter Longworth.  Each one of these is a superb musician, and they are totally "in sync" with each other, playing as an organic unit.

Their playing covered the range from delicate, nuanced pianissimos to vigorous, muscular fortissimos.  Their interpretations of the music were eloquent.  And they were obviously enjoying themselves deeply.  I had never heard any of these pieces of music before, but was able to understand and enjoy them thoroughly.

The audience was disappointingly small, but absolutely delighted to experience such a marvellous concert.  The quartet (plus pianist) do say they will come back next year as part of next year's Rosebud Chamber Music Festival, and I will do everything I can to make sure the audience is at least double the size it was last night.  It's a great privilege to have a live concert of such incredible quality here in our little rural town.

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