Concert review: Carpe Diem quartet seizes Grand County audience
April 21, 2011
Carpe Diem, in Latin, means to ” Seize the day.” This internationally acclaimed string quartet seized more than seized the audience with their recent dazzling performance sponsored by the Grand County Concert Series.
The quartet, in residence at Ohio Wesleyen University, thrilled Grand County with their eclectic programming of blues, jazz, tango, folk, rock and classical music.
Was it their ability to engage the audience with heartfelt descriptions of the program from the stage or their ability as fine musicians to play with conviction and passion? Was it their agility of performing while standing rather than the traditional seated arrangement? Or was it the fact that the two violins and viola instruments were all hand crafted by Kurt Widenhouse, giving them a balanced sound with the fine acoustics of the Church of the Eternal Hills to enhance them?
It all added up to a breathtaking evening not to be forgotten. The first violinist Charles Wetherbee gave a dazzling performance while his partner, John Ewing, not only accompanied but added his own dash and richness to the music? Kristen Ostling blended her cello beautifully with the upper strings.
A highlight of the evening for this writer who, years ago, chose the viola as her instrument, was to hear the violist, Korine Fujiwara, featured prominently in several compositions. The group also presented a memorable composition of hers entitled “Montana,” reflecting her love of her home state. The music depicted the vastness of the sky, family traditions, rushing waters, campgrounds, western melodies with square dance rhythms and a clever piece entitled “Walkin’ in the Water.”
Korine is also a gifted arranger of music making Carpe Diem a prominent group of musicians who present and perform an evening of great music. Their eclectic programming is evidence of the evolution of string quartet playing.
This group plays brilliantly including all those notes that musicians call “accidentals” those sharps, flats and naturals, a segue to a personal tale: Recently 4 of us hit black ice north of here with a dramatic accident. All are recovering nicely now but how we wish it could have been just another “accidental” instead. The music of Carpe Diem was a great binding factor helping us back to the reality of beautiful sound as well as friendship in Grand County.
Thanks to all four musicians for not only seizing the day but our memories as their performance lingers on in our minds and hearts.
The next concert of this series, on Friday night, July 1, at 7 p.m. at the Church of Eternal Hills, is the favorite Bergmann piano duo. Tickets will be available at the door, but you are encouraged to come early since this duo is a favorite of the many friends of the series. Tickets are only $20 and include the privilege of meeting and conversing with the Bergmanns at a reception following their performance. As always this will include wine, cheese, fruit, coffee, cookies and delightful homemade pastries.