Jamestown Concert Association Closes Season

The Jamestown Concert Association ended their 2012-13 season with a crowd pleaser, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, who performed four crowd pleasing musical works which ranged to many genres and many centuries, but always connected to the crowd.

The youthful quartet demonstrated excellent musicianship throughout the performance, but the roots of their chosen program extended to the blues, gypsy dances, a work which sounded very much like the lush sound tracks of mid-twentieth century films, and a five-movement work called ”Fiddle Suite Montana,” which painted scenes from the composer’s native Montana in the most vivid of tone colors.

The members of the quartet are Charles Wetherbee and Matthew Leslie-Santana, violins; Korine Fujiwara, viola; and Carol Ou, cello. Wetherbee did most of the conversations with the audience, during which he revealed that he is a Western New York native who debuted with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

The narrator said that the quartet had chosen this program because all four of the works they performed had their roots in a different kind of folk music – music intended for people to enjoy without needing to have an advanced degree in order to appreciate.

”Fiddle Blues” by Bradley Sowash bears the composition date 2013, and was written for this quartet. It has the rhythms, the blue notes, the wails, and all the qualities of the blues. It sharply contrasted with their second selection, by early 20th Century composer Ernest Moeren, whose ”String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor” immediately brought to the listener’s mind the soaring, lush film scores, which toyed with their audience’s emotions and brought them to soaring crescendos.

Following intermission, the musicians returned with the familiar ”Czardas,” the alternately heart breaking and frantic soaring of gypsy violin pieces.

They ended with five movements composed by their violist, who described growing up in the wide-open, big sky country of Montana, where the population density is six people per square mile. She introduced each of the movements separately, which she collectively called ”a redneck theory lesson,” but her descriptions of her childhood habit of jumping in puddles, or the power of a giant waterfall at Stillwater gorge at which the rush of the water pulled the air toward itself, past anyone standing near the side of the falls.

The music evoked the intersection of solitude and loneliness, and I’m sure everyone’s mind was enjoying its own conception of that beautiful place.

The Jamestown Concert Association will commence their 2013-14 series on Oct. 6, with a performance by the Buffalo-based musicians of Ars Nova. Season memberships are already on sale for next season, and anyone who buys a season ticket before June 1 will also be given a guest ticket, to bring a friend to one of next year’s performances.