On Apr 23rd, our church was blessed with a special concert. The African-American trio, Diaspora Chamber Players, and a guest pianist played the W.A. Mozart quartet KV 478 â€“ a piece for violin (Carlos Baptiste), viola (Dr. Linda Blanche), cello (Anita Hill), and piano (Tim Brown).
It was a remarkable performance that attracted 51 visitors to our church, among them yet another class of students from the Livingston School here in town. Our particular blessing as a church is that we do not have to abide by some distant concert tradition but that we can nurture a culture of interaction between the musicians and our audience. This makes these concerts a valuable addition to the music programs the public schools offer in New Brunswick.
It helps, of course, that many of our adult visitors have become familiar with the question-and-answer part at the conclusion of most of our recitals. I want to thank them for role-modeling many questions for the younger students who, usually with some delay, join the conversation then as well.
The particular quartet on Apr 23rd was interesting because it was not well received when first played in 1782. Our program quoted a contemporary notice that read â€œ(as performed by amateurs) it could not please: everybody yawned with boredom over the incomprehensible tintamarre of four instruments which did not keep together for four bars on end, and whose senseless concentus never allowed any unity of feeling.â€
It is so often in history that something is ill received at first and assumes a well-deserved place in the establishment later on. And itâ€™s good for us as a church to expose the youngsters of our community to this kind of experience.
Thank you, Diaspora Chamber Players, for bringing your beautiful music and its history to us! We also wish to thank the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, for funding the event through a grant provided by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission/Board of Chosen Freeholders.