two wonderful and totally different musical experiences

As is evidenced by my regular postings of songs on this here blog (among many other things), I’m a huge fan of music, and also of a wide variety of music. Over the last week, I got to experience two fantastic concerts in two different settings of two very different types of music, each with one of my favorite people in the whole entire world.

Last week, I spent a few days in Raleigh, and on Thursday night, ToniAnn and I went to one of the Candelight series of concerts. This particular one had a string quartet — two Asian women on violin and two white dudes on cello and viola — playing Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” as well as four other classical pieces that are adjacent to or inspired by Vivaldi’s classic. Both ToniAnn and I are huge fans of “The Four Seasons,” and these four musicians did an amazing job of playing it. These four pieces of music are in my DNA, and to hear them in that lovely venue performed by these four superb musicians was a treat I will treasure always.

The video above has the final bit of “Winter,” which ended the show. They wouldn’t let us take pictures or video until they got to “Winter,” which was a good compromise, I think. As you can tell from that, the acoustics in the venue — All Saints Chapel on South East Street in Raleigh, a church that dates back to the nineteenth century — were perfect for music. (Not so much for talking — when the musicians spoke between numbers, I could barely make them out…)

Truly a magical night…

The church prior to the concert
Me and ToniAnn
The quartet playing

I drove home Saturday, and on Sunday, Wrenn and I went up to Connecticut for the Round Hill Highland Games in Lime Rock Park. This was, more or less, a Scots-themed Renaissance Festival, with food (meat pies!), music, Scottish merchandise, drink (whiskey! mead!), caber tossing, dancing, and bagpipes — lots and lots of bagpipes.

Our main reason for going, though, was to see a folksinger friend of Wrenn’s named Charlie Zahm. Charlie has a beautiful baritone voice, and he’s also a fantastic guitarist. He played several sets throughout the day, singing some grand old tunes.

Besides the tune in the video above, I recorded two other songs he did, but the video was nowhere near as good (and possibly a bit seasick-inducing), and one was oriented wrong for no good reason (stupid phone…). You can find them here and here.

We didn’t buy much merchandise, though the mead merchants who were doing tastings also had maple syrup that we bought a couple of bottles of, and I found a new bourbon that I want more of (Litchfield Distillery — good stuff!). And we also got to hang out with our friends Robin and Jenny, and even got to have a lovely steak dinner with the pair of them afterward…

A cow named Charlie, who had his own very jaunty hat…
My favorite clan crest of all the ones there….
Hey, look, it’s a Clan Keith tartan!

Here’s one of the bagpipe brigades:

This was a beautiful, glorious, fun day.

Both musical experiences were stellar, and I will treasure them both. I love music….

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