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moi 1981
jwg

Last night's concert

Last night we went to another Robert Kapilow What Makes it Great concert which is part of the Celebrity Series to which we have a sub.

The work for this was Dvořák's String Quartet No 12, the American which was composed when he was in the US. The pattern of all Kapilow's programs is the same. For the first hour he talks about the piece, illustrates parts of it on the piano and with the performers (The Parker String Quartet), and gets audience participation singing bits of the theme and tapping out some of the rhythms. He will often start with a simplified version of a part and then show how the composer used a more complex form which is "what makes it great".

After an intermission the piece is performed in entirety. It is a lovely piece and pretty familiar since it is played on the radio quite a lot. One little surprise was that the top string of the cello broke during the 2nd movement - fortunately his part didn't really need it in this section so they were able to complete the movement; then he went out to get a new string. Playing with a new string is a bit of challenge since it doesn't hold its tune for long. I don't think I've ever encountered such an event.

Parts of this piece use a five-note scale that may be based upon some Native American music he heard. My own image for some of the feeling of this piece is out west on the Great Plains but perhaps this is derived from knowing what the piece is about since I'm not very familiar with NA music.

Next year he will do the Mendelssohn Octet and another concert with Cole Porter songs. Should be fun.

Before the concert we had dinner at Bombay Cafe with eblaug_rss and RP. After the concert we went to JP for the last couple of contra dances and then went out for ice cream

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