Yesterday we went with friends to the annual Christmas concert from Mistral, formerly Andover Chamber Music, featuring ensemble pieces from the baroque era. This year’s program included Vivaldi, Telemann, and JS Bach before intermission and CPE Bach’s flute concerto and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto after.
The JS Bach concerto for violin and strings let the three violinists really show off, but I enjoyed the Telemann Tafelmusic in D minor the most. It’s a beautiful piece for flute and recorder. We’ve been going to ACM concerts for several years now and it was fun to see founder Julie Scolnik’s son Sasha, who is a fine young cellist, take on a major role in the ensemble. The first time we saw him perform with the group, he was barely in high school.
After the concert, the pianists in our group wanted to take a look at the harpsichord, so we went up front to peek. Harsichordist Dylan Sauerwald gave us a delightful tour and explanation of how the harpsichord works, even pulling off the cover so we could see how the plectrum worked. They’re made of plastic now, not bird quills. Neil and Diana took turns playing brief passages on it, and I picked a few notes to feel what he was telling us about the touch. It wasn’t like pressing a piano key; it felt much more like using a pick to play a guitar string. Very cool. Thank you, Mr. Sauerwald!