Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mercer me...

The Fabian Concert Series at Mercer University that featured Mozart's Duo for Violin and Viola, K. 423 and Beethoven's Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20.  Both are popular works, with the Beethoven sometimes overshadowing some of his other music, to the composer's chagrin.  The Mozart featured Amy Schwartz Moretti on violin and Emily Brandenburg on viola. Ms.  Brandenburg graduated from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in the Townsend School of Music at Mercer.  Ms. Moretti is one phenomenal violinist.  She has technical wizardry in her fingers; she uses every inch of her bow, but she never overwhelms her musical partners.  Ms. Barndenburg is a fine violist.  She too plays with a big tone and can hold her own in that department with Moretti.  But there is one thing Moretti has than Ms. Brandenburg will certainly grow into- stage presence.  In both  her playing and her announcements from the stage Moretti has a sparking broad smile and great warmth; she connects with the audience.

The Beethoven featured guests Franklin Cohen, principal clarinet of The Cleveland Orchestra; Fernando Traba, principal bassoon of the Sarasota orchestra, and William Caballero, principal horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO).  All three were outstanding. All three have great precision and the blending of their instruments was noteworthy.  Caballero is a mighty horn player.  Its no wonder that the PSO is justly famous for its horn section.  To fill out the septet, Ms. Bradenburg, Mary Grace Bender on cello, and Isac Ryu, double bass, joined their more senior colleagues.  but his performance belonged to Moretti.  Her technical ability, sensitive playing, robust tone, and deft fingers were awe inspiring.  It was easy to see her colleagues sitting with smiles on their faces when she played.  At the end of the concert, it was obvious that all of the players were proud of  their efforts, as well they should have been.  It was spell-breaking, however, that a patron failed to silence their phone between the first two movements of the Beethoven.  The performers handled it with humor, but had to restart the second movement.

AMC's only criticism:  the program was too short.

An added bonus was driving around the areas close to Mercer.  Macon has some of the best preserved Victorian homes, many of which have exterior lighting at night.  

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