Saturday, January 18, 2020

sax and violins

I went to hear Chamber Music Silicon Valley play all six Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach. They started doing this annually two years ago, but I had only heard the first outing. That was a rather rough and ready performance, but this year's was much smoother. Just about all the players sounded fully qualified to be there, and together they made crisp and lively performances.

The venue was the Mexican Heritage School of Arts and Culture on the east side of San Jose, in a plaza pavilion which was somehow brightly lit and pitch-dark at the same time. Appropriate, though, as many of the players were of Hispanic origin.

I particularly liked it when the lead violinist in #5, who rejoices in the name Matheus Sardinha Garcia Souza, improvised a cadenza between the slow movement and finale that incorporated hints of Celtic folk music.

They still don't have a trumpet to play the clarion part in #2. Last time they used one of the French horns from #1. That didn't really work. This time the instrument was a soprano saxophone (David Cortez) and, surprise, it worked! Even sounded like a trumpet, played like that.

In personal news, I got my pocket calendar back and have heard from the insurance adjusters. I'm still having trouble with little things like walking and eating, but those should improve over time.

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