Friday, June 7, 2013

A great send-off for Flummerfelt

Plus Brazilian tunes and so-so magic

Posted by Jeffrey Day on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM


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After attending the first part of Intergalactic Nemesis, I felt my time could be better spent doing something other than seeing part two of that unimaginative production. Almost anything else.

So I ducked in to hear the amazing sounds of Brazilian guitar and clarinet duo Alessandro Penezzi and Alexandre Ribeiro. The two friendly looking guys just burned up their instruments with fleet fingers performing original work as well as pieces by some of Brazil’s many well-known composers.

I can’t say I’m all that familiar with this sort of music, but the duo is both technically accomplished and bring real personality to the music.

Every once in a while Penezzi would pick up a microphone and announce the names of the pieces and say a little about them, but his English is very limited and he struggled to make himself clear. But that just added to the charm of the concert.

Something I really should have already had on my calendar was the final appearance at the festival of one of its leading lights, Joseph Flummerfelt, director of choral activities since the festival was founded and with the Italian Festival before that. He gave himself a fitting sendoff with Verdi’s Messa Da Requiem, conducting the festival orchestra, the Westminster Choir, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and four soloist in a huge, moving performance as the storm raged outside. The TD Arena became a very sacred space for this massive, monumental work.

The concert attracted many people from around the globe who had studied with Flummerfelt. At a party for him afterward, still going strong around midnight, the place was packed with alumni from many decades and he led them in a song. Lots of tears.

I probably should have gone to the Requiem after going to the one-man (plus an uncomfortable volunteer) show Bullet Catch. Because midway through this show of so-so magic tricks, sketchy history of the infamous trick, and distractions, I wanted them to just bring out the gun and shoot me.

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