Saturday, November 11, 2006

Concert by Candlelight

Last night dozens of candles were aglow in the brass chandelier that lights the great room of the 1730's plantation house that is the Whim Museum. About 50 of us gathered in this great room, just as people in 1730's Europe might have done, to listen to an intimate piano performance accompanied by clarinet or saxophone. The two performers were talented world-class musicians flown in from the States to showcase their talents in this exquisite setting. Six times per year, from October till April, the Whim Museum hosts such performances as part of their Candlelight Concert Series.

Nobody had to twist my arm to go last year when I first heard about these concerts, but my husband Bob, who is not very interested in classical music, reluctantly came with me to the first one and was immediately hooked. He says, "I was dragged by my parents to classical music concerts when I was a kid and I'd just sit there nodding off to sleep. But here, we sit in the first row and we are so close to the musicians that when I stretch my legs I have to be careful not to kick the musicians. It's fascinating to watch great music being made, up close and personal."

The performers usually spend time before each selection offering interesting details about the composer and the significance of the piece. These tidbits add depth to the performance and enhance the synergy between the artists and the audience.

Last night during intermission we strolled through the grounds enjoying a glass of wine and the pleasant tropical night air while chatting with our friends Viktor and Olga. And I remembered that when we lived in NJ, New York City was close enough to drive to if we wanted to catch any event, but the drive was an hour and a half each way, so that a great show was sandwiched between two long, traffic-congested drives. By contrast, this event here was relaxed, casual and thoroughly enjoyable, and the easy 20-minute drive home at the end of the night was a sweet way to end a great evening.

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Anonymous Melissa said...

That sounds wonderful. I always prefer live music in a more intimate setting.

10:32 AM  

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