Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I spent today(in between my rehearsals for the Wildcat Viol program) at a concert in the Berkeley Early Music Festival – actually “a concert” is not quite the appropriate word. It was an all-day (11am-7pm) program of the music of Marin Marais entitled The Marais-a-thon. Professional viol players in the San Francisco bay area performed in 15 or 30 minute sections. Presented as a concert in the new Barefoot Chamber Concerts Series (, the proceeds from the day’s music went to scholarships for the Viola da Gamba Society of America’s Grants-in-Aid program.
All day, all Marais.
Performers included Colin Shipman and his wife Violet Grgich playing on harpsichord. It was so tender to see this married couple playing this intimate music together! Rebekah Ahrendt played one of my favorite suites beautifully. Peter Halifax played music from the movie Tous les Matins du Monde and kept everyone entertained with his announcements and narration of Marais’ “Operation.” David Morris’ suite moved me to tears with his sensitive interpretation. And, this was only a small sampling of what was offered!
It was intriguing to hear all these musicians playing today. There were so many approaches to technique, sound, and interpretation. It was exciting to hear so many approaches, and several of today’s players said that they work well together and learn from each other. The viol players combine in different groups and work well together in a fun, collegial way.
I hope that concerts like this will happen in Cincinnati. Someday!

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