A String Trio for Gottesman

From the third floor landing I hear a surprising, yet bewitchingly familiar piece: Hitchcock’s Marionette Theme, aka Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette. Fingers nimbly pluck the strings of the violin, viola, and cello like master puppeteers rhythmically walking a Lafleur, Guignol, or Pulcinella across the stage. Mahogany rich and lusciously light notes dance in perfect harmony around the cool stone columns, as I envisage the hand-painted marionettes playfully bobbing up and down. Applause rings out before I reach the final step – the music an everlasting celebration, rather than a solemn farewell.

The evening’s superb performance by Wadsworth Strings has included a stunning selection and wonderful interpretation of old masters. There is Bizet’s Farandole; Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman; Brandenburg’s Concerto Number 3, movements 1 and 3; Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music, Le Banannier by Louis Gottschalk, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances, Numbers 1 and 2, and The Laughing Song from the operetta Die Fledermaus by Strauss.

As I catch Badinerie from Suite number 2, Bach, I recall that Vivian Penham, Founder of Wadsworth Strings, and ensemble have played at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and throughout the Northeast. The musicians indeed are inclined to black. Lost in the classical spirit, I remind myself that we are not in a formal concert hall; a graduate of Columbia and Julliard, Vivian is integral with monthly performances for the Gottesman Libraries music program.

Referencing Live Music: Wadsworth Strings, Wednesday, 7/14, 5-6pm