Last weekend, I went to White Oak Conservation Center. (Last night, I dreamed I went to Manderly again.) It was a great weekend. I met some wonderful people, we went boating on the St. Mary's river on a gorgeous day, and saw lot of birds, but no reptiles. I got sunburned--the type that's called a biker tan or T-shirt tan...my arms are burned up to my deltoids, the shoulders milky-white. It's a great look.
Both evenings, we heard a wonderful chamber music. The first night was a trio: piano, violin and cello. The second, they were joined by a second cellist. The musicians are at Amelia Island for the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
I am pretty ecclectic in my musical taste, but I had feared this would be a snoozer. My fears were totally unfounded. The first night, they played Tchaikovski, the second, Handel, Menotti and Schoenfield. It was totally mesmerizing. Such wonderful music, such fantastic musicianship, in such a beautiful setting.
The artists were Wendy Chen on the piano, Andres Diaz and Christopher Rex on cello, and Chee-Yun on violin. To give you an idea of the caliber of these musicians, Chee-Yun played on a Stradivarius that was provided for her by the Samsung Corporation. Mr. Diaz's cello dated from the 1600's.
I found myself wondering if the instruments themselves contributed to the beauty of the moment. I concluded that that was all in my head, and these musicians could make beautiful music given a washtub and a piece of string. Ms. Chen, who debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Andre Previn at age 15, was playing on a modern Baldwin grand piano, and took a back seat to no one.