A blog about Hudson, New York

The Sight of Music

“Architecture is frozen music,” Goethe once remarked, and in the spirit of that quote, Claverack Landing, an offshoot of the Columbia Festival Orchestra, has embarked on a series of chamber music concerts in a number of Hudson’s many eye -opening architectural spaces.  “We love the history of this city,” says founder and artistic director Gwen Gould. “We wanted to give our audience a chance to visit some of the great spaces in Hudson and, at the same time, hear wonderful musicians.” The first concert in November, with the Reinhold/Jolles violin duo, took place on the second floor of TK Home and Garden. The second, with the amazing Intimate Voices string quartet, happened this past Saturday in the main chapel of First Presbyterian Church,  in front of the Tiffany Glass- designed Christ mosaic (augmented by Roy Volkman’s dramatic logo of a cornet created for the series); attendees could almost see the 1870s ceiling trusses melting as the group masterfully tore through pieces by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and most excitingly, Dmitiri Yanov-Yanovsky, a contemporary Uzebeki- born composer who notates violin and cello rapping and plucking syncopations in his scores. (The group’s lead violinist, Renee Jolles, showed me those notations during intermission — just one example of the casual interactive approach that the series offers its audience.) The concert was followed by a reception in the trippily detailed Tin Ballroom upstairs from Vince Mulford Antiques, catered by the gourmet food shop Olde Hudson.  (Great salami and chamber music turn out to go very well together.)

There is something truly tonic about being able to experience well-played classical music –or any other performing art of this caliber — in a large- scale historical space with great acoustics,  a melding of the eyes and ears that Hudsonites will hopefully get to experience more often whenever the Hudson Opera House auditorium opens for business. In the meanwhile the town will have just a couple of other such events this season: Paula Robison, flute, and Frederic Hand, guitar, in “Songs without Words,”  Saturday, March 31 at Christ Church Episcopal Church,  and Elmar Oliveira, violin, Robert Koenig, piano,  Saturday, May 12, at The Armory.   (The last of these may be a unveiling of sorts of what the Galvan Initiatives Foundation  may or not be doing with the interior of the building.) –Scott Baldinger

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