May 14, 2009
Tafelmusik - The Concert
So - the concert.
We had good seats in the centre balcony. I thought Husband-pup had merely won the tickets in a raffle – he had sprung the idea of the concert on me the night before and that’s what I believed. When I got to Trinity-St. Paul’s I realized that we were VIP and that through business connections we were in the Sponsor’s Circle, so to speak. We were welcomed by a PR liaison and invited to spend the intermission in a special lounge, high above, with wine and hors d’oevres. Two free Tafelmusik CDs were presented to me. I wish that I had worn other than my wide-leg L.L. Bean pants. I had the sense to wear a nice velvet coat and do my hair up.
Coincidentally, Jeanne Lamon - Conductor, Concertmaster and Music Director of Tafelmusik arrived and sat next to me on the pew during the concert. Having a night off, I guess. She has an infectious smile and seemed very pleased with the performance below.
The small Tafelmusik ensemble, there were no more than 13 on the stage at any time, performed Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Numbers 1, 4, 5 and 3 in that order. I was worried that I wouldn’t recognize the Bach because Mozart’s my man but I knew this Bach as if it were the back of my hand.
For the most part the music was happy and likeable. I’m no judge of classical music but I felt that things kind of fell apart during the second movement of Concerto No. 1. It felt like the First Violin, Christopher Verrette, was having a hell of a time keeping them together and there were a couple of squeakers from the oboe and the violins. I was fully expecting Ms. Lamon to leave her perch next to me in the balcony and take over from that point, but when the horns came in, everything seemed to tie in again.
The harpsichordist Alexander Weimann was great! What would Bach be without the harpsichord?! He strongly reminded me of character actor Bob Balaban and he was just rocking. I felt like flicking a BIC lighter and paying tribute.
The musicians had a hard time keeping still. In Concerto Number 3, the strings took turns showing off their chops. In the Q & A session afterwards, violinist Julia Wedman let us know they recorded it that way too for some stereophonic fun.
All in all, a light, enjoyable evening.
All though not Bach, here’s a happy clip of Tafelmusik via Youtube. Enjoy it. You deserve it.
Please check out other Tafelmusik clips while you’re at it.