Monday, May 30, 2011


Our trip southeast on US 68 turned out as I had envisioned it (in the previous blog) only sweeter!  Although US 68 into Jessamine County has been expanded, the road heading down to the Kentucky River remains very windy and fairly narrow.  I'm thinking the concert grand piano must travel a different route to get to the Meadow View Barn!  David and I arrived in time for a look about Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, so I could get my fill of farm creatures.  I especially love the work horses and goats.  At the far end of this beautiful setting, we did an about face and strolled out to the Meadow View Barn.  This was the first year that Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has been the sole presenter of The Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass, which features the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
       I believe this is my absolute favorite concert setting. What could be more wonderful than sitting in an old tobacco barn, with a sweet breeze wafting through and all the meadow sounds richly texturing the air?  This year did not disappoint.  We were able to enjoy the performance of pianist Inon Barnatan again (he played with the Lexington Philharmonic this last season). His facial expression is as wonderful as his musical expression; and his Mozart interpretation is simply the best. Mozart is so appropriate for this setting; it is all very Papageno/Papagena-ish.  The first half of the concert was Mozart's Trio in E-flat major for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, and Mozart's Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello. There was bird song everywhere.  But, the birdsong came to a head in the second part of the concert when the Mendelssohn Quintet No. 1 in A major for Two Violins, Two Violas and Cello was played.  After the second movement, the Intermezzo, the birds outside were so persistent, that even the musicians stopped until they had their say.  A very cheeky Bob White got in a word before the quintet threw it right back at the birds with the Scherzo which is non-stop bird talk. Now, I did not hear the birds of the field during the Scherzo, but they might have been dumbstruck! What a wonderful experience; a true celebration of our beautiful world!

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