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January 24, 2011

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January 24, 2011

The Delaware Chamber Music Festival: An Appreciation
When we relocated to Delaware eight years ago, our first acquaintance with regional musical culture was the Delaware Chamber Music Festival. To our happy surprise it proved not to be a staid reproduction of familiar masterworks
alone--although we enjoy re-hearings of them. Along with Bach and Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, were works by 20th, and now 21st Century composers, even by once-neglected women, and also striking--often exciting--performances in genres once considered inappropriate and "unclassical," like tango and klezmer and other ethnic and national music. The juxtaposition worked--and still works. Further, the mix of matinee and evening performances attracts audiences for which one or the other times may be less viable. I have observed audiences grow in numbers and enthusiasm--and these include young people and residents of retirement and care facilkities.
Returning home, I have played CD recordings of some works I have listened to, and found that the live performances at the Delaware Music Festival were every bit as effective, if not more so by being "live," as those by marquee instrumentalists. I have also experienced performances of unfamiliar works which lured me into purchasing recordings of them in order to hear the music again. Although a modest enterprise by institutional measure, the Festival fills a gap in the musical calendar and continues to succeed in broadening the musical experience in our area.

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