Tuesday, February 24, 2009


On a rainy Sunday afternoon--after subbing at Grace Cathedral for a sick substitute-- I celebrated the 31st anniverary of the founding of Chanticleer by attending a delightful chamber music concert at a handsome Queen Anne home on Chattanooga Street just a few blocks from my flat. The series had been recommended to me by my friends Ted and Irene. They weren't able to make this particular concert, but I saw their friend Annie, whose 86th birthday dinner I had attended a few weeks ago.

The layout of the house reminded me of my late friend John Blauer's home in Pacific Heights. He used to have musicales and old time projector movie shows in his back parlor.  The audience would sit in the front parlor. On Chattanooga Street, the audience faced the other direction in two handsome rooms tastefully decorated with William Morris revival wallpaper.

The concert on Sunday featured five string players from Sonoma County. They called themselves "Very Old Time Music."  With five players, they had two violins, two violas, and two violoncellos. (Two of them played more than one instument.) Their period instruments-- with gut strings and old bows-- ranged from the late 17th Century through the early 19th Century.

The music included quintets by Muffat, and Boccherini, and smaller ensembles by Merula, Lalande, Matthew Locke, and Albrechtsberger. The entire afternoon was thoroughly enchanting. I will sign up for the series next year, and put my name on the waiting list for the next scheduled concerts.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)