Just like we like it on Tuesdays: Riveting!
...and if the host cannot "hush" the audience to continue in the concert after an eventful intermission, you know that something wonderful is going on!
We had seven numbers on the program and seven times the Hall was almost brought down with wild clapping, shouting, whistling, and even stamping. The atmosphere at the Point Loma Assembly this past Tuesday was charged with so much energy and excitement, it is hard to put in words. From the moment the host (that would be me) climbed those steps that serve as a fit podium, the audience becomes one great soul united by happy vibes, and from then on is attentive, ready to laugh, ready to open up to the music.
And that is my goal being met: To bring people together, to feed them with strudel and creamy cake, to let them know what is the best beer in the world :) and to set a scene for a collective joy of listening to music! It is a gift offered by the artists' talent perfected by thousands of hours of selfless training. And just like we are moved by an Olympian who shows us what humanity is capable of on 1,600 m stretch, so we are moved by the virtuoso: perched on the podium, making music in front of our eyes, filling the hall with loud beauty. I admire that selfless volunteered plight toward perfection so we can be showered with charm and inspiration, and be assured that there is, after all, a soul within us. And since the ancient Greeks, we hold it sacred that the ideal of life is to use one's talent and diligence to enrich others.
Music is like no other art: in one moment it is here to engulf us, and the next it flees. And this past Tuesday it was obvious that the music "hit that tender spot", as if an imaginary dart is landing in the middle of the circle of our souls that became tender and alive. The music felt delightful and cheerful, charming and gracious, gripping and humorous, heartwarming or heartbreaking. We were all in the mercy of the musicians and It felt good and natural and beautiful.
And we did not mind a bit to be under the spell of our virtuosos!
At moments like this I always feel that the more music we hear, the more sleepy corners in our soul are brought to live. And the more emotions dancing, the more humanity there is to give!
And what about those musical guests who brought all of that tender or wild czardas-like beauty ?
Zuzana and Miroslav Ambrošovi are a duo from Prague, the Czech Republic, a mother and son!! How unique is that! Both classically trained at Prague Conservatoire and Prague Academy of Music, both virtuosos with many accolades from the most prestigious competitions. Zuzana teaches at conservatory and is sought after as an accompanist for brass and woodwinds, Miroslav established and directs a chamber orchestra of Academy alumni, Ambroš Ladies, and also performs as a soloist.
It was several years ago when they decided to create a family duo.
Not only do they perform their attractive repertoire with perfection and touching expression, perfect pitch and perfect accord, but they are the most diligent, unassuming and humble artists.
And I believe that once you can stay well rooted, that purity is infiltered in whatever you do. And their performances and their reaction to wild applause is so beautiful to watch!And how much fun it is to observe their dynamics off stage! They are about the best mother and son team one can see and wish for: from ever-present humor to respect, care, modesty, generosity, and incredible unpretentious bewilderment with which they react to the beauty around them. It makes them the best companions to spend time with, and I love to hang out with them here or in Prague by their beautiful flat in the most attractive part of the Czech capital!
Our musicians brought whimsicality and a classicist purity and melodiousness with Mozart's late sonata. Tenderness
came with Smetana's, From my Homeland: joyful, heartwarming, folksy, proud and yearning. Smetana wrote it completely deaf, a man who had to put behind him death of his three daughters ages five, two and less than one, and his beloved wife Katerina, aged 32. Yet, those incredible tragedies are hardly reflected in his upbeat joyful harmonically inventive and pleasing music.
There were two beautiful Romantic pieces, Dvorak's extraordinary Mazurek, that went along with the beautiful composition Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler, that "Paganini of a new century". Juraj Filas, a contemporary Slovak composer, was commemorated by heartfelt aria-like Les Adieux, a proof that contemporary music may use modern elements of dissonance and funky rhythms or harmony, and still be accessible. Pablo de Sarasate's Fantasie on Gounod's Faust is a masterpiece with the opportunity to show off a virtuoso at his best technically and emotionally. Monti's Czardas that followed may be "that famous czardas" played by just about everyone who is at a high level of violin playing, yet Ambros Duo gave it such a fresh angle!
And the audience does not care that it is Tuesday late at night, the audience wants more. And Bazzini's Dance of Goblin is the absolute pinnacle of violin playing. Those four minutes blew everyone in the audience away. This great bravura piece uses trick that you practice for hundreds of hours: Ricochet and flying staccato bowings, double harmonics, left hand pizzicato, or repetition of the same tone on all four strings....the staccato was such that you felt the bow is one smudge against the violin as you could not catch the individual touches! Just extraordinary!
And so it was, that happy first November Tuesday. There was no better way to spend it but with you, the absolutely perfect fun appreciative kind audience, and that dynamic pleasant modest and accomplished Ambroš music.
Thank you all and if you missed this riveting performance, they will be back!