Every one of the concerts I’ve attended in Ashburnham have been memorable but this last one scored just a bit higher up the scale. Perhaps due in part to it being the last concert until the fall. A good showing of attendance was made considering another heavy soaked rainy day was upon us. With a couple of other PW members in attendance; John Citron and revliv4all(Brian) along with his family and son Matthew who continues to delight and amaze us with his piano talents after only two years of lessons, a mini gathering was enjoyed.
Hsai-Jung delighted everyone with her playing of Chopin Etudes; Op 10 and 25 along with 2 encores. She selected the Conrad Graf 1828-29 Vienna
based on the music she performed and the time period that Chopin would have composed these pieces. Hsai-Jung’s music filled the room with the most beautiful sound emitting from the Graf. She performed both Opus’s without any score present. Before beginning her program, she spoke briefly about Chopin referring to him as a music poet and how his music presented challenges to the pianist unlike other composers. In explaining to her audience how this could otherwise be perceived she referenced how most composers would expect you to hop on one foot over the Frederick Center(approximately one block from where the concerts are held) but Chopin would expect you to hop on one foot whilst spinning around AND reciting excerpts from Shakespeare!
Those of us who have played works from Chopin could truly relate to her analogy.
I didn’t realize until much later that this was the first time I’d ever heard Chopin’s Revolutionary “live”!! What an absolute thrill to have not only enjoyed Hsai-Jung’s performance but to hear it on a piano that would have been used by Chopin.
After the concert performance, a group of lingering concert goers gathered at the piano and delighted in experiencing the thrill of playing the Graf. The weight of the action on the Graf as compared to modern day instruments is like night and day.
After awhile, Pat Frederick was able to join those of us back in the concert area and delighted us by performing some of her favorite folk tunes; Shenandoah and a few of her prized Irish and Welsh melodies. What a thrill to be a part of the after concert bonus feature!
Upon my departure I was beaming with delight as I walked down the driveway to my car. My evening enjoyment of the most pleasing music and conversation with friends and acquaintances left me with such an emotional high. It was truly one of those moments when you feel like you’re one of luckiest people in the world!
A special thank you to Pat and Michael and to all who support their efforts to provide the concert series.
Sound Engineer-Christopher Greenleaf, Hsai-Jung, Pat and Michael Frederick
Relive4all’s son - Matthew
I have a few more pics to share and will get them uploaded tomorrow.