Monday, April 4, 2011

Classical Concert Fashion

My good friend Ruta invited me to attend a concert with her Saturday night at the Singleton Center for the Performing Arts at VCU. The accomplished cellist Zuill Bailey headlined with Piers Lane as accompaniment on piano. Ruta and I both love classical music but I had not heard of this particular cellist prior to her invitation to attend. Unaware of the program for the evening, I was glad to accept the invite and hoped for the Bach Cello Suite No.1 as it is my absolute favorite cello piece. I rather have a "thing" for J.S. Bach anyway.

A concert is a perfect reason to dress up a bit!

I decided going to the concert gave me the perfect reason to wear the mink hat and stole my mother-in-law gave me. I have been looking for the opportune moment and this was it. I took a self-portrait with my Blackberry when I got in the car to go which didn't turn out half bad.
Feeling like a Russian Spy in an old movie

Before the concert Ruta and I tried taking a couple pictures. Most of them turned out to be badly out of focus but I managed to save a few. 
Mink hat and stole, red skirt by The Limited, purple pumps by Guess

Under the stole: leopard print blouse by Guess over purple lace trimmed tank from Charlotte Russe. 

Ruta is wearing her short mink jacket over a black dress with a sunny colorful scarf. 
A chill wind blew and my bare legs were freezing so we hurried in to the venue.   
During the concert I managed to sneak a video clip with my Blackberry. The quality isn't but so great visually but the sound is what really matters. His playing can be heard very well. However, Mr. Bailey is easy on the eyes and plays very passionately. I hope you enjoy this bit of cello with piano.

The program he played was very interesting. The first half of the program he played opposite of that which is printed in the program. He started with the Sierra selection yet framed it first with a reference to Bach's Cello Suite No1 Prelude. The Prelude of the Sierra seems very much inspired by the Bach. I had never heard of Robert Sierra and he is a living composer. That was our least favorite part of it all but he still performed it well in spite of the selection. 
Ruta and I both enjoyed the Schumann and Mendelssohn selections. They are from the Romantic Period and the pieces are very melodic and soothing. After a brief 15 minute intermission, Zuill and Piers returned to the stage for the Rachmaninoff Sonata. Piers Lane plays so very powerfully from the wrist. Rachmaninoff is very demanding to play and usually I see the pianist playing from the shoulder all the way through to his fingers. Piers Lane seems to move nothing but his fingers and hands right from the wrist. Yet he manages to infuse all the power and color necessary to fully express the piece. He is quite an impressive pianist to see perform. 

After the show we took some pictures while we waited for the artist to emerge. 
These turned out better and focused at least, even if our feet didn't make it into the frame.

Piers Lane, the pianist, gets into a very intense discussion with an admirer.

Zuill Bailey and Student from Master Class
Zuill Bailey taught a Master Class for VCU students during the day prior to the concert. They all seemed to enjoy it quite much, and lined up to shake his hand and get autographs. Some had him sign their cello cases. 

I waited for all the students to clear out and asked Mr. Bailey if I may take his picture. He was happy to pose for me. 
It is a pleasure to see and hear him play. He is an exclusive recording artist for Telarc and recorded the Bach Cello Suites which were released February 2010. His recording shot to the number 1 spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. I will be downloading his collection of Bach Cello Suites today from iTunes. 
If you have not tried any classical music lately I highly recommend giving Zuill Bailey's Bach Suite No1 in G Major a listen. It speaks to the soul.