On the 15th at 5:00 p.m., I took in some very enjoyable chamber music at Belles Artes. There is a little auditorium there off the second floor promenade that I had not been in.
The group performing was billed as Sooke y amigos. It was a chamber orchestra, an adjunct of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by a truly charming old Irishman named Norman Nelson.
I was stuck by the first and second violins. I cannot tell you the names of this lady and this young man because the program does list the violins by seats, but I liked these two a lot. No grimaces. No postural histrionics. No showboating at all. Rather, they planted their asses in those seats and did nothing but straight ahead, hard driving violin playing. A tip of the hat to them. I am impatient with violinists who must signal me with a lot of bobbing and weaving that they are playing a helluva violin. I will be the judge of that based solely on the sound coming out of the thing.
Nothing extraordinary about the program generally. Some Mozart. Some Handel. Some Bach. Some Haydn. One piece stuck out for me, however, because I happened to be unfamiliar with the work of the composer, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), although I had certainly heard of him. Simple Symphony for Strings. Nice piece indeed.
The Bach piece and the Haydn piece featured a flute. A lady named Alison Crone stepped on stage for these performances and burned up that damned flute.
I do not know what the connection is between Vancouver and San Miguel. There is some sort of direct pipeline between the two cities. I have met an extraordinary number of people here from Vancouver. Strange it is.
Anyway, Sooke is a tiny town on the far south end of Vancouver Island, just a little hop from Vancouver. So once again, go figure.
And guess what this high end, two-hour concert cost me. Go ahead. Guess. . . . That's right. Nothing. Nada.