Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Last Summer Weekend, Part 2 of 3: The Cow Island Concert

The next stop in my amazing last summer weekend was Cow Island off the coast of Bremen, Maine. The island was a farm starting in the 1700s, and is now owned by our family friends as their summer home. Cow Island has five houses on it: an old farmhouse (now the main house) and several barns, all converted to guest houses. Our friends are staunch supporters of the New England Conservatory, and they invited two professors who are world class musicians to spend a week at the island rehearsing with their best students. They then put on a concert for about fifty of the NEC's supporters and friends, an event which I was lucky enough to enjoy.

The musicians played three absolutely beautiful pieces by Mozart, Barber, and Tchaikovsky respectively. The pieces are stunning in themselves, but it was the musicians who brought out the beauty. They played more passionately than I have ever heard, and they seemed to be having so much fun doing so. The sound was beyond magical. I grew up listening to classical music because my mother's father was a composer and my dad studied with him (hence my parents meeting) but know little about the music, more about the history of composers' lives. Yet I was able to pick out some Russian folk melodies from the Tchaikovsky piece, which was my favorite of the three. It was also inspiring to see young people who were literally the best in their field-- they made greatness possible.

At the party afterwards I felt like I had stepped into the party pages of Vanity Fair. Everything from the tea-sandwiches to the men clad in old faded pastel shirts and the good-natured gossip could have come out of the recent installment of "The New Preppy Handbook" that the magazine excerpted in their recent August issue. But on Cow Island it was neither overdone nor intentional-- it was an effortless grace that one cannot emulate by reading any sort of instructional guide. A truly amazing showing of generosity and a gift that the hosts gave by holding such a special event.

James, me, and Ben on the boat ride over.

Island at sunset.

Not a bad view...

Riding dirty with Nana.

Me and James :)

Two thugs.


A lone violinist walks up to the house.

Ben, a lady, and a full rowboat.

Pensive Benny.

Nana, glamorous.

Throop, also pensive.

James and Nana recede down the dock.

Listening to: Ben whistle "Portland Oregon" by Loretta Lynn and Jack White. Already mentioned it on the blog I think, but I like Ben's whistle rendition.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Charlotte, as usual.

    Your house mother


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