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Country, Folk and Rock Nearby

The Music Scene
winstedjournal@sbcglobal.net

As a onetime music critic, I look back fondly at the days when I would go out every night of the week for live music in bars, clubs and concert halls. I did the job for about six years and, to be honest, that was long enough.
Since then, I have mellowed a bit as a listener, but my inner, jaded music critic remains intact. Has-beens, quarter-century-old tribute bands and perpetually second-rate folk artists can be forgotten so we can concentrate on fresh, energetic performances nearby.

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Making Music

Young Musicians at Work
compass@lakevillejournal.com

The music, “it sounds scared,” Alla Aranovskaya tells her violin student during class in Music Mountain’s Gordon Hall.
Lauren Betts, an 18-year old from Wichita, KA, is playing Paganini, a work studded with tricky glissandos and double stops.
“Straight bow,” Aranovskaya orders. She is intense and verbal, working very close to Betts, hovering, touching the student’s bow, her shoulder, her hands, her neck.
“Curled fingers.”
“All the weight in the elbow, not the wrist.”
“I want richer tone on the eighth notes. Get bow to catch on the string before moving.”

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Celtic, Bluegrass, Cajun: Folk Is Back

The Music Scene

One of the premiere folk festivals in the Northeast returns to our area next weekend for its 23rd annual run.
The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival is the brainchild of longtime Sharon resident Howard Randall, its founder, owner, producer and executive director.
Since 2003, the festival has been held at Dodds Farm on Route 22 in Hillsdale, NY. It features some of the premiere folk, bluegrass, Celtic and Cajun performers, as well as leading dance bands.

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He’s . . . Alive!

Cabaret: 'Ludwig Live'

Get in your car. Drive to Seven Hills Inn in Lenox, MA, next to The Mount. Leave your brain and common sense in the car because you won’t need them to enjoy the deliciously silly “Ludwig Live!”

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Happy Days for Baroque Music Fans

The Music Scene

Two nearby summer series showcasing Baroque music give us the chance to discover the intricacies and varieties of this popular music period, which lasted from about 1600 to 1750.
Interestingly, Baroque music was forgotten for a while, until the 19th-century Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn revived an interest in it, particularly in Bach, as part of the century’s growing obsession with looking to the past for inspiration.
By the 1800s, Baroque had started to take hold. The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston was the first formal music association in America.

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Music, and a Gorgeous Setting, too

The Music Scene

Bossy Lady, my GPS, sent me down a bumpy dirt back road through a dark forest somewhere in Katonah, Westchester County.
Maybe she was trying to make a point.
Then we were back on the highway, passing vast, gated estates, until at last we reached the winding, woodsy driveway to our destination: Caramoor, home of a 66-year-old international summer music festival.

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Mozart to Martin, It’s All Here

The Music Scene

The next few weekends bring an embarrassment of musical riches to our region.
The Aston Magna summer music festival — the oldest summer period-instrument festival in America is performing a concert of “Diversions: Mozart and Hummel,” featuring a nine-piece ensemble led by artistic director and violinist Daniel Stepner.

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Celebrating an Original

The Music Scene

Like someone’s eccentric uncle, Charles Ives (1874-1954) has been largely stashed in the attic of music history, along with most of his compositions.
Concertgoers who have heard the handful of Ives pieces in regular rotation tend to get a one-dimensional view of him as a borrower of small-town parade music and other Americana.
But this Danbury native, an insurance clerk by day, was more of a visionary than just a novelty, and more of a seminal figure in modern 20th-century music than merely an iconoclast. His music deserves greater exposure and appreciation.

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Music Mountain Season Opens With Pianist Misha Dichter

The Music Scene

“How come I’ve never made it to Music Mountain?” asks Misha Dichter, somewhat ruefully — and entirely rhetorically.
Never mind the reason. The stars have aligned at last, because a week from Sunday, the legendary American pianist and the Harlem Quartet (a youthful and diverse ensemble from New York City) kick off Music Mountain’s 82nd season with a program of favorites.

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Sizzling for Summer

The Music Scene

The weather is not the only thing turning hot. The summer music season is heating up with a sizzling variety of concerts.
Close Encounters with Music celebrates its 20th anniversary with Fiesta! A Latin Splash of Music and Dance. Based in Great Barrington, CEWM has become a much-beloved local institution for fascinating excursions into classical and contemporary repertoire, fused with art and culture. Cellist and artistic director Yehuda Hanani is a mainstay of the Berkshires’ cultural scene.

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