The Shelter Island Friends of Music 2019 season has ended; not with a bang but with the warm, luscious sound of exquisite cello playing.
The Shelter Island Four Cellos is a group of conservatory-trained musicians, each of whom who has an independent performing career, but who came together on this occasion to delight a sold-out house on Columbus Day weekend. Their remarkable program embodied works from the baroque (J.S. Bach) to the contemporary (Paul Wiancko).
Several highlights drew cheers from the crowd, especially the brief but charming sequence from Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” with its subtle but unmistakable reference to Wagner’s ubiquitous “Wedding March” woven into the finale. An emotional highlight opening the concert’s second half was Caleb van der Swaagh’s arrangement of Godard’s “Berceuse” whose gentle melody has rarely sounded so expressive.
The contemporary work, Paul Wiancko’s “When the Night” with its angular, sharp edges might have proven puzzling with lesser musicians, but the Four Cellos’ luxurious warmth and lush phrasing made it sound like the perfect musical message for our time.
Shelter Island Friends of Music 2020 season will begin next President’s Day weekend with violinist Eric Silberger, the Tchaikovsky Competition finalist, returning in his third engagement with the Friends of Music.
On behalf of the Board of the SIFM, thank you for your faithful presence at our concerts and for your commitment to sustaining great music on the Island.