music notes


One of the nicer things about sending a child to summer music school is the chance to listen in on some awesome music. This has been the 4th summer that our youngest has attended the Summer Youth Music School (SYMS) at the University of New Hampshire, and this year she was 4th chair in the cellos, and hence was also in a string quartet. So, Thursday morning about 9 hours after we gott off the plane home from Los Angeles, we trekked down to Durham NH to listen to a couple of hours of student recitals.
I tell you, they get really interesting. Imagine, if you will, 7 bassoons playing Gounod's "March of the Marionettes" (aka the theme from Alfred Hitchcock). Or 7 flutists playing the theme from Final Fantasy (yes, the video game). And then there was the beginning viol class - 5 players and the teacher playing these 6 or 7 stringed instruments in a variety of sizes and pitch, holding the bows in a way that looked rather uncomfortable, to say nothing of the fact that I was afraid that some of the instruments might fall from between the knees where they were being held. They played a lovely renaissance piece - I think the composer was something like Brossano? (Erik would know).
How about 6 french horns playing Hayden? It was a lovely hymn and I recognized the tune from having sung it as an Anglican child. Now I have to dig out my 1940 hymnal and see if I can find it.
The string quartet, our reason for showing up, was of course the last on the program. They played two lovely bits, but I can't remember what they were! I know there was one in E flat (because I remember thinking that E flat is a terrible key for string instruments). Will have to ask my daughter.
Today was the final concert. These kids work hard and play well and it was sheer delight. Thankfully we will be getting the CD so we can listen to it again. The string orchestra did all 3 movements of a Mozart divertimento as well as a suite from Bizet's Carmen. One of the violins suffered from a broken string between the first and second movement of the Mozart and there was a longer than usual pause......
The very last bit of performance was a small group from the orchestra accompanying the chorus in a medley from Les Miserables. It packed the rafters.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on August 7, 2004 10:50 PM.

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