Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cleveland Classical Guitar Society: David Russell

Giuliano: Rossiniana No. 3
Scarlatti: Sonatas K.490, K.491
Granados: Valses Poeticos
J.S. Bach: Partita I, BVW 1002
Albeniz: Capricho Catalan
Albeniz: Granada
Albeniz: Asturias
Two encores, unannounced.
David Russell, guitar
At Plymouth Church UCC, Shaker Heights.

Tonight's concert marks the last in Cleveland Classical Guitar Society's fifth season. Despite less than favorable weather and the possible competition for audience  from a Cleveland Orchestra concert a few miles away -- Grammy-winning guitarist David Russell played a wonderful concert to a nearly sold-out audience. 

Inspired by the arias of Mauro Giuliani's Rossiniana No. 3 opened the concert with crisp sounds and despite some drama the result was soothing and tranquil. Mr. Russell introduced the second piece by noting that the inspiration was a Spanish practice around Easter of processing a statute of the Virgin Mary through the village -- and Domenico Scarlatti's Sonatas had the feeling of a respectful procession with occasional hints of tributes. Closing out the first half of the program, Enrique Granados's Valses Poeticos -- said to be inspired by unknown poetry and consists of 8 waltzes -- while delightful to listen to, I can't say that I really heard waltzes. 

Following intermission, Mr. Russell's transcription of Bach's Partita I, with doubles captivated the audience -- and again was delightfully relaxing to listen to, I didn't find the music to particularly evoke the feeling of dance. 

The final pieces on the program wee composed by Issac Albeniz and brought a brighter feeling and a bit more lively mood than those preceding. Capricho Catalan had a slightly haunting air and made me think about wandering through unknown neighborhoods after dark. Granada, on the other hand, made me think of having drinks with friends in a neighborhood bar -- very even-keeled but with occasional surprises and exclamations, and meandering through the stories of friends. Finally, Asturias was fast and lively with musical exclamation points. 

The concert concluded with two unannounced encores dedicated to his Producers, Sound Engineer, and Editor for his CDs. 

Season tickets for Cleveland Classical Guitar Society's 6th season are available now. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cleveland Orchestra: Cristoph von Dohnanyi Conducts Schumann

Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120
Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C major, Op. 61
Christoph von Dohnanyi, conductor.

Rachel and I made it back from London over the weekend -- I will conclude that series this weekend, time allowing -- and while I was pleasantly  surprised that thee affects of the time change were not particularly felt, my internal clock is *yawwwwwwnnnnnn still a few hours off.
A Cleveland Classical Guitar society concert for Saturday pushed me into Severance Hall this evening for a pleasantly short (by orchestra standards) 90-minute concert of Schumann lead by Cleveland's prodigal conductor, Christoph con Dohnanyi.

As the compile beyond me in my box tonight commented just before intermission, "well, he can certainly make them sound good!" -- and I must say I like the more balanced sound of dividing violins across both sides of the stage versus the more common modern staging (a helpful commenter mentioned tube more usual staging was a product of stereo recordings and broadcasts)
First on the program was Schumann's Symphony No. 4 and while I didn't fond it emotionally evocative, I could certainly feel the music pulsing through my veins and I found a tender violin solo part (played by William Pruecil) a highlight of the piece.

The second and last piece on the program was Schumann's Symphony No. 2 which once again was a delight to listen to (leaving the hall a fellow patron commented that "He (Dohnanyi) and the Orchestra always have such vitality when he comes back to Cleveland") despite not evoking particular imagery -- particular highlights came from the explosive energy at the culmination of the second movement and then after a short breath starting the third movement on a slow, tender mood. 


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lincoln and Rachel in London: Day 5

Rachel and I on an Escalator; Reflection from window at Tate Modern
As our week in London comes to an end I think Rachel and I are starting to loose steam, but we're still enjoying every minute of our time here--save perhaps our feet. It's also worth noting that -- according to Rachel, at least -- I have been randomly breaking out in a variety of accents, including Scottish, Irish, and a few "unidentifiable muddles".

One of the works that attracted my attention: Untitled 1-5 by Dan Flavin
This morning we headed in a new direction and started the day with a visit to Tate Modern. While I'm typically fond of modern and contemporary art (while Rachel prefers the classics -- it's true opposites attract) there were only two or three pieces I found even moderately compelling and none that I was profoundly attracted to -- as I told Rachel on the way out "tis better have visited and not liked, than to have not visited at all"
Nothing to See Here: Through a construction portal at Tate Modern -- and my general feeling after a visit. 

After descending from  the heights of the Tate we walked along the River Thames, passing Shakespeare's Globe, a modern recreation of the historic theater a few hundred meters from the historic site, and continued until stumbling into the "Gourmet Burger Kitchen" on Clink Street.
Tower Bridge (and a small football [soccer] game in the foreground)

The burger was mediocre -- perfectly edible but nothing like the one we sampled from the Volunteer earlier in the week -- but the street was more interesting: As it turns out the street lent it's name to the popular euphemism "in the clink" after a infamous prison on the street until the late 1700s.

Continuing on the cobblestone street of Clink, we arrived at the modern London Bridge (not the one in Arizona), surfacing for a moment to view our ultimate goal: The Tower Bridge. We continued in that direction stopping in the More London complex to take a few pictures, before ultimately arriving at the London's iconic bridge. We walked across the bridge to cross that off our list (I've now walked the length of the Golden Gate, Mackinac, and Tower bridges), passed the Tower of London and made our way out of the neighborhood.
Tower Bridge
(I should note that at one point we along our walks today we found a warning advising of a "Humped Pelican Crossing" -- neither Rachel nor I had the foggiest clue what that was, but no large fishing birds were seen crossing the road. Further research indicates that that may simply be a pedestrian crossing with speed bumps.

Say what?
Leaving that neighborhood, we moved to Covent Garden where Rachel picked up an assortment of tea for herself and coworkers at Tea Palace, crossing the beautiful shopping area and visiting the London Transport Museum, where 15 GBP per person gives you an overview of the history of London Transport. While I didn't get the impression it was as comprehensive as the New York Transit Museum, it was nevertheless worth the visit.

Leaving the transport museum we had time to return to the hotel and freshen up before heading out to our anniversary dinner (our actual third anniversary is tomorrow, however travel considerations made tonight the more sensible choice. Rachel planned dinner and it was a delicious steak and martini at the bar of Le Point de la Tour (unknown at the time, but the same restaurant that Tony Blair and Bill Clinton were dining at when their motorcade was separated due to the opening of Tower Bridge)

We're now back at the DoubleTree for the evening; tomorrow we shall check out from this hotel and after our last full day in London board Heathrow Express to the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 in preparation for a morning return to Cleveland.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lincoln and Rachel In London: Day 4

No photos for this post, I could say because I didn't catch anything particularly remarkable (really nothing that there aren't already thousands of photos of on the web) but, honestly, the main reason is it's nearly 11pm here in London and the internet has slowed to a crawl -- so I don't have the patience to wait for them to upload. I may append photos at

After our late night, we got off to a slightly later start this morning, first heading to the British Museum -- the British equivalent of the Library of Congress, and home to the Magna Carta, original music scores from countless well known Composers, and an impressive 6-story cube of books originally collected by a king. I think Rachel went over the edge a few times, but I nearly lost her to excitement when we visited the Conservation Center's display -- for a bibliophile who also studied conservation and book binding, I think we found her nirvana.

Whilst waiting for our bus to our next destination it occurred to me that I have now spent more tine in the capitol of the United Kingdom than I have in the capitol of my own country [My entire experience with Washington DC consists of driving to the city from Richmond, circling for 45 minutes trying to find somewhere to park, before throwing up my arms in exasperation and driving back to Richmond].

Our next stop -- after a quick pub lunch where Rachel finally got her Fish and Chips -- was the British Musuem, home to an impressive collection. While comparatively little of the collection actually appears to come from within the United Kingdom, it does house quite a collection of world treasures including the Rosetta Stone (and a modern facsimile visitors are invited to touch) as well as a impressive collection from the Greek Parthenon. Of all things, I found the gallery on Money most interesting.

Departing the British Museum, we stopped by Foyles flagship on Charing Cross -- while it is said to be the world's largest bookstore, I didn't get the impression that it was nearly as large, or that it held nearly as many books as Powell's "City of Books" in Portland.

We returned to the hotel for a bit to rest and freshen up for our evening activity -- hearing the London Philharmonic Orchestra play in Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, Rachel's anniversary gift to us. While I was not in the mindset to produce my usual commentary on the piece -- and being wholly unfamiliar with the hall (but not the two headliners -- conductor David Zinman and pianist Emanuel Ax are no strangers to me via the Cleveland Orchestra, and I was pround to see both referenced Cleveland in their program biographies) it would not be well based. The program included Mozart's Symphony No. 38 ("Prague"), Strauss's Burleske (Emanuel Ax, piano), J.S. Bach's Piano Concerto No. 1 In D minor, and Strauss's Tod und Verklarung.

It was a lovely evening of musing (save for someone's personal attack alarm stopping the performance near the beginning of the last piece) but the hall sounded a bit more 'woody' and burnished by comparison to what I am used to at home in Severance Hall.

Most remarkable, however, is the singing elevator -- erm, lift -- in Southbank Centre. In a near chant, while ascending levels, the voices ascend octaves and do the reverse while descending -- and singing the floor numbers along the way. It really made Rachel and I laugh -- fourtunately, you too can experience it: Someone has posted this video on YouTube, and the lift has its own Twitter account.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lincoln and Rachel in London: Day 3

This morning started a bit early -- because for today we were headed outside of London.

First, we stopped at a Barclays Bank branch where, thanks to my Bank of America account and the Global ATM Alliance, I could pick up a few pounds free from surcharges -- the withdrawal posted to my account at exactly the current exchange rate, no more or less. From there we backtracked to Pimlico to catch a ride on the Victoria line of the Tube to London Euston Station. At London Euston we collected tickets for a National Rail (London Midland) train calling at, among other stations Bletchley. With some miraculous timing, there was a train on the platform ready to depart as we came running up.
The half hour on the train passed quickly on a remarkably smooth ride through England's verdant countryside outside of London we arrived at Benchley. Alighting the train and working our way out of the small station we needed no help and maybe a few hundred yards of waking to locate our destination: Blecthley Park.

Bletchley Park was the home to the World War II-era codebrekaers working day and night to decipher the text of the German Enigma machines -- and also of particular note Alan Turing. As a technology professional I found it absolutely engaging, and Rachel was particularly captivated as she's found cryptography, and the Enigma in particular interesting.

A corner of the property also includes the National Museum of Computing; while the entire museum was not open, the galleries featuring a rebuilt Colossus, claimed to be the worlds first computer (though ENIAC was publicly known first, apparently Colossus had been computing in secrecy for a period of time before that.

Both institutions websites, or even better a personal visit, can do a much better job than this summary -- and regardless it is well worth the visit (for less than 40 GBP total fort the both of us, including train tickets).

Retracing our steps, we returned to the hotel just long enough to freshen up -- and drop off our book shop purchases -- before heading out to meet a friend and his wife for a pint at an authentic (non-tourist-ridden) pub across London. We elected to take the bus and -- well, Bus+:London Traffic+Rush Hour makes for a somewhat terrifying experience. But we made it to our destination, the Jerusalem Tavern.

The conversation and ale were both good (and I am not an ale drinker), and nearly three and a half hours later, we called it a night, while being walked by our hosts in the direction of an Underground station making for the comparatively easy ride on the Circle line to Westminster station and a quick half-mile walk back to our hotel.

Curiously we noticed this apology prominently posted in one of the stations: I think it's fantastic, but I can virtually guarantee in 2014 you would never see it on any American mass transit system:

We plan on getting a later start tomorrow.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lincoln and Rachel in London: Day 2

This morning marked what is perhaps a first: I was awake and fully conscious before Rachel, so I seized the moment and the shower (carpe bathem?) to get things rolling while she fully enjoyed the fringe benefits of vacation (not being helped by my "are you ready to get going?" queries)

Initially deciding not to take our jackets, once again we set out down Millbank with the idea of stopping at the Houses of Parliament for a tour: Sadly we were informed that tours are offered Saturdays only, undaunted, we continued on and across the Thames to the London Eye, purchasing the "Day and Night" ticket package we rode around for the first of two revolutions. While it is more than a bit "tourist-trapy" and the revolution speed could be increased a tad, it does offer some great views from the "top of London".
From the London Eye by Day

Feeling a bit chilled following disembarking from the London Eye, we decided we would make a quick stop by our hotel to fetch our coats. On the route we selected (without resorting to maps or our phones) we happened to stumble upon Westminster Abbey and elected -- "since we're already here" -- to do the tour. While photos are not permitted in the Abbey it is an impressive and storied place, with the remains of or monuments to dozens of well known and not-so-well known figures, including the composers Elgar, Britten, and Hayden. Perhaps most interesting, was the tidbit about Oliver Cromwell initially being buried in the Abbey, then upon restoration of the monarchy, being dug up and posthumously hanged.

Innovative queueing at the Post Office
Following the tour we made our way though the giftshop with some trinket purchases and returned to our room to collect our coats and rest our feet for a few moments before once again greeting the beautiful city of London. This time, while our ultimate destination was Buckingham Palace our interim destination was a post office to send off cards to our respective mothers. It is true that the British love their queues, however the Post Office has an innovative system -- and is generally unlike any post office I've ever experienced in the United States. Upon entering a kiosk asks you to select the purpose of your visit and a numbered voucher -- also indicating how many people are in front of you -- is printed and you're free to take a seat at a comfortable couch or browse the retail offerings until your number is automatically called to a window.

Yes, that's a motorcycle labeled "Ambulance"
Following, we walked up Buckingham Gate Street until we reached the palace. We elected not to go inside the palace, but instead walked nearly the entire perimeter of the fence -- quite an imposing set of spikes and fences once you're past the main facade, eventually winding up at the impressive edifice of  Wellington Gate.
Outside Buckingham Palace; Wellington Gate in the distance

Having concluded our business in that part of London, we marked off another one of the "tourist must do's" by catching a London red Double Decker bus to Victoria Station where we first munched at the McDonald's [I just couldn't resist trying the British incarnation of the American chain -- and they had fried apple pies. Yum.] and then stocked up on beverages at the same Sainsbury's we had stopped at yesterday.

Catching the Victoria line tube to Pimlico station, we avoided much of the ambling we did last night, however, emerging from the station Rachel -- again, a passionate bibliophile -- spotted a building emblazoned "Random House" and we investigated. She was disappointed to find the building didn't appear to be open to the public. (Likewise, she is a large fan of Burberry coats, but cannot be talked into wandering into their headquarters, around the corner from our hotel).

We dropped our food purchases off in the hotel room and debated the virtues of attending debates in the House of Lords or the House of Commons but elected instead to rest our screaming feet (I can still feel them pulsing as I type this) while watching the "BBC Parliament Channel" -- it was not exactly gripping, but it was interesting to see some of the similarities and differences between the systems I know in the states(such as those in Virginia, a favorite client).
London Eye and Big Ben at Night

Realizing that the London Eye closes at 22.30, at about 21.00 (7pm) Rachel and I headed back to the site to make use of our "Night" ticket and along the way listened to Big Ben proclaiming the hour of through its beautiful -- yet quieter than expected -- bells. Arriving at the site and moving through the efficient queue we once again took in the sights of aerial London though this time with the sparkling  night lights.
From the London Eye by Night

Finally, we walked along the edge of the Thames until arriving at Pizza Express, adjacent to the hotel, and ordering a margarita pizza and garlic bread for takewaway -- and retiring to the hotel for the evening.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lincoln (and Rachel) In London: The First 24 Hours

Rachel and I are celebrating our third anniversary at the end of this week (and getting a leg up on my 30th birthday, two months from this Friday past). To celebrate, we're taking what is arguably one of my first "Real" vacations -- No family commitments, no work excuses* -- purely pleasure in motivation. It's also the first time I've left the continent of North America.

London has been at or near the top of my "Intentional Destinations" list for as long as I've had such a list -- often swapping spaces with Sidney for top billing -- and we finally bit the bullet and booked our week in London.

Cleveland to Chicago
We departed Cleveland late Friday evening for a quick connection in Chicago for a nonstop flight to London's Heathrow airport -- departing Chicago at 10pm local time (11pm Eastern) and arriving in London just after 11am Saturday morning. Thanks to my Gold elite status with United Airlines, Rachel and I secured Exit Row seats (with ample legroom) -- the next best thing to one of the "Lay Flat" seats in BusinessFirst or United Global First -- curiously, my reservation indicated we were booked in the latter cabin, but neither of us were prepared to shell out the extra $3600 for an upgrade.

Arriving at Heathrow, we proceeded through Customs and Immigration with surprising speed -- aside from a long queue, the actual process took less than a minute. After collecting our luggage and selecting the "Nothing the Declare" exit we were officially on British soil. A quick an efficient Heathrow Express ride to Paddington Station and then a "traditional" black taxi delivered us to our hotel at about 12:30 Saturday. With Check In not until 3pm, we stored our luggage and set out on foot for an exploration of our neighborhood.

Tate Britain: 500 Years of British Art 
And it seems that I have selected the right neighborhood -- our hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton London Westminster at 30 John Islip Street, near Tate Britain (not to be confused with Tate Modern), the Vauxhall Bridge, and not many steps from the Thames. Setting out after dropping our luggage, we literally stumbled across Tate Britain and took a tour through several hundred years of British Art -- including large holdings of the works of John Singer Sargent [a favorite of Rachel] and JMW Turner [I'm fond of his The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834, in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art (1942.647)]
Traditional London Phone Box

Upon departing the Tate, we sat for a few minutes and decided to hunt for food. Wandering down Millbank we stumbled into a bright pub, where after some confusion on our part about the process of things (the correct answer: you order at the bar; food is delivered to the table) we had an adequate lunch.

Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and The London Eye, 
Following lunch we decided that we should acquire Oyster Cards (the payment method for mass transit in greater London) and made our way across Vauxhall bridge where I initially waited in the wrong line before being politely directed to the ticket vending machines in the adjacent Underground station. Again the process was fairly quick and painless. Now safe to make our way back to the hotel, we retrieved our room key -- and I shocked Rachel by asking the clerk "where are the lifts?" (not thinking about the word I had chosen.)

The room is nicely appointed -- not large by any stretch of the imagination (particularly the bathroom) but comfortably laid out and more than sufficient for a stay where we do not plan on spending much time in the room. Flopping on the bead we both crashed, and were essentially dead to the world until about 9.30 this morning.

Getting started, we headed out behind the hotel and discovered how truly wonderful our location is: About a half-mile, more or less down the street, we stumbled upon the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben before dipping into the Westminster Underground station headed toward Baker Street. Surfacing at Baker Street we visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum, the London Beatles Store, and then sat at the Volunteer Pub for what will go down in history as one of the most delicious cheeseburgers either Rachel or I have ever consumed, with tasty chips -- er, pardon me, fries.

The National Art Library, The V&A. Rachel Lusting. 
Moving on we walked from Baker Street through Hyde Park, admiring the swans and paddle boats with the ultimate destination being the Victoria And Albert Museum,  known colloquially as "The V&A". Like, it seems, many other British museums (and, of course, The Cleveland Museum of Art) admission to The V&A is without charge -- though a donation is suggested. Aside from admiring the expansive collection of art, Rachel, an admitted bibliophile currently employed by two academic libraries, was found lusting after the collection of the National Art Library through locked doors.

After exhausting ourselves with the collection we left The V&A and walked back toward Hyde Park, hugging the periphery this time rather than cutting through the middle, and discovering Royal Albert Hall and passing Kensington Palace (with an abortive attempt to purchase ice cream) we laid on the lawn of Hyde Park for a bit before hopping back on the Underground to attempt to stop by a Tesco to stock the hotel mini fridge.

The Tesco our mobile phones pointed us at having been shut (one major difference from The States: opening hours for many businesses on Sundays are severely curtailed. Wandering away the general direction of our hotel, though, we found a wonderful desert shop and Rachel and I enjoyed ice cream and sherbet before discovering a Sainsbury's (open till 23:00) where we found not only Coke but Dr. Pepper (Rachel's vice) and Mountain Dew (my vice). And we began the trek back to our hotel -- as it turns out my instinct was about 20 degrees off, but again, mobile phone GPS to the rescue.
Residential Street, London

Along the way, though, it was a delightfully beautiful and quiet combination of neighborhood streets to stroll and enjoy the dusk hours. And walk past Burberry's headquarters (Rachel loves but does not own their jackets).  And we find ourselves back at the hotel with sore feet but feeling very accomplished for the day.

If you're a Friend of Rachel on Facebook, you can find the full-resolution versions of the pictures here -- and quite a few more -- in our London album.


*- Arguably, this is my favorite way to vacation as it takes the stress of actually choosing a destination out of the equation and someone else pays for the airline ticket, leaving incremental food and lodging as the only expenses. I've seen New York, San Francisco, Vancouver (Canada), Portland, Minneapolis, and more via the "Workcation" method. I would gladly acquire clients in other countries (and have been hoping to serve someone in Europe for quite a while)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cleveland Orchestra: Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody, Britten's Spring Symphony

Sibelius: Lemminkainen's Return, No. 4 from Legends, Op. 22
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 (Rudolf Buchbinder, piano)
Wigglesworth: Locke's Theatre
Britten: Spring Symphony, Op. 44 (Kate Royal, soprano; Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano; John Tessier, tenor; The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, The Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus)
Brett Mitchell, conductor

Though I do not wish Mr. Welser-Most any ill, I would be lying on an epic scale if I were to claim I look forward to hearing him conduct a concert -- so I must admit my mood was significantly lightened when I found the (admittedly unknown, to me) Brett Mitchell would be conducting the performance.  

Opening the program, the short fourth movement from Sibelius's Legends, (name) had a cinematic energy of a ship rising and falling while charging forward on the waves, culminating in a triumph was easy to get pulled into. On the other hand I found it difficult to get into the second piece on the program initially--that is until an extended piano solo wherein my eyes fixated on Mr. Buchbinder's fingers waltzing across the keyboard and stayed so fixated until the signature soaring strings broke my attention free and herald it through the end of the piece -- romance, anticipation, excitement. A musical summation of all of my feelings for Rachel and my upcoming trip to London next week, celebrating our third anniversary. 

On the basis of the first half of the program alone, this one of the most enjoyable concerts at Severance this season. On the basis of the titles of the second half I was hoping that feeling would increase. While there was nothing wrong with the final two works on the program I didn't find them at all as compelling or engaging. 

Ryan Wigglesworth's Locke's Theatre, receiving its United States premiere at this evening's concert was far more musical than many of his contemporaries atonal works--and nicely succinct with three movements in about 10 minutes. Except for basses clearly conveying the sound of gathering storm clouds in the third movement, there were no real themes that sparked the imagination or captured my interest. 

Likewise, Britten's Spring Symphony was well done -- particularly on the part of the at times ethereal Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, but for most of the twelve movements the piece, the music was used to punctuate the verse or vice versa, not really leaving many opportunities to just sit back and enjoy either the music or the verse. 


Saturday, March 1, 2014

BlueWater Chamber Orchestra: Lake Winds Bring Spring Strings

Elgar: Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47 for Solo String Quartet and Strings (Kenneth Johnson, Emily Cornelius, violins; Laura Shuster, viola; Kent Collier, cello)
Barber: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11
Barber: Capricorn Concerto, Op. 21 (Sean Gabriel, flute; Neil Mueller, trumpet; Martin Neubert, oboe)
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Op. 48
Carlton R. Woods, conductor. At the Plymouth Church UCC, Shaker Heights

Rachel and I attended our third BlueWater Chamber Orchestra concert this evening and it occurred to me that one consistency among all three is that they're easily digestible presentations: Well performed pieces in an format that runs roughly 90 minutes free from intermission, it's just the right amount of commitment. 

Tonight's program opened with Elgar's Introduction and Allegro -- striking me at first as having the dreary atmosphere of a turn-of-the-century main street, particularly through a longing viola. However, as the piece progresses the sun begins to shine through and a moment of drama as the clouds part. A tremolo in the second violin created am interesting sound that sounded almost banjo-like and a musically romantic embrace were highlights of the piece. 

Barber's Adagio for Stings -- easily that composer's best known work, followed with a beautifully somber and longingly sentimental piece. Third on the program, the same composer's Capricorn Concerto moved us into the long form portion of the concert; while the first movement (allegro ma non troppo) didn't really engender any feelings, the second recaptured my attention through winds that I could best describe as walking -- and joined in their stroll by the violas and later cellos. As the piece progressed into the third and fourth movements, I particularly enjoyed what seemed like the soundtrack for a spirited and civic-minded dialogue. 

This brings us to the final piece on the program, Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings which felt much different than the prior works on the program -- the first movement starting with a powerful first statements and evolving into a spirited debate between the high and low string sections before settling into a lovely elegant and graceful mood. The second movement was faithful to its notation as a waltz, evoking imagery of a 1800s ballroom and a romantic slow dance, while the third movement made me think of quiet springtime walks. 

Next up on BlueWater's season is Iron Composer and Iron Violinist on May 10th at the Plymouth Church -- based on Mr. Woods' comments during tonight's program it sounds like it has the potential to be very entertaining.