Spoleto Festival USA: May 29, 2013

Most of the Westminster folks who went to the chamber music performance this morning were excited to see a harpsichord on the stage.   The concert opened with Concerto for Oboe and Violin in D minor by Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758), performed by Livia Sohn, violin; James Ausin Smith, oboe; members of the St. Lawrence Quartet and the Brentano Quartet and Pedja Muzijevic, harpsichord.  Geoff Nuttall is the musical director for this portion of the Spoleto festival, and has been called the Jon Stewart of chamber music.  He speak to the audience with a casual, intimate manner that builds the camaraderie and community of the listening audience so much so that it feels like we are in a friend’s living room for an spontaneous (wonderful) afternoon concert.   As Geoff was giving us some historical and personal context for Fasch, his wife and fellow violinist Livia Sohn dropped her music into the pit at the front of the stage.  There was plenty of giggling and cheering when a hand shot up, through the protective netting over that space (which is supposed to prevent things from falling in), holding the music for Livia to take as though it were the torch from Chariots of Fire. 

I went with Drew and Allie to Husk for lunch, and the meal was so pleasing.  Twice in my life have I witnessed people cry because of food, and both of those times have been in Charleston.  The first was last year, at Hominy Grill, when Kyle shared his deep fried cheese grits with now-alumnus then bass Giancarlo D’Elia.  Giancarlo was just the right combination of over-tired, over-happy, and over-hydrated so that when Kyle tipped the scale with a gesture of delicious generosity, Giancarlo responded with tears.  For Allie, it was a combination of ‘Kentuckyaki’ glazed pig ear lettuce wraps with marinated cucumber and red onions, bacon smoked cornbread with porkfat butter, the smoky pork melt with Husk pickles and preserved ramp buttermilk, and Brahms Piano Quintet in F minor (the final piece on the chamber concert) that caused her to shed a tear over the food.

Tonight we had another run of Mese Mariano and Le Villi.  The dressing room is such a fun and crazy place.  The nuns in Mariano (Allie Faulkner, Nicole Fragala, and Anne Marie Stanley) have to put their costumes on in stages – there are about 8 separate layers that need to be put on in a very specific order.  Image

The first couple of times they went through this, it was quite hilarious watching them wrestle with wimples.  

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About Westminster Choir

Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a center for music study in Princeton, N.J.
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