Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chamber of Pleasures

A friend and I once had a conversation about ways to get to know people quickly when you first meet them -- like, really get to know them -- which means finding out something different from "What do you do?" or "Who are you herewith?" What would be the one question we could ask that would say the most about someone – including, most important, whether we'd want to hang out with this person? We decided it was "What was the last concert you attended?"

I've decided now that the best way to throw people off at a party is to answer -- while wearing shorts and a T-shirt and drinking beer -- "I just went to the craziest chamber music concert. Man, they beat the crap out of that piano.Oh, and there was an accordion!"

If you like your music avant-garde, you should try the Intermezzo chamber music series, with its inventive programs that combine old and new classical music played by a handful of talented musicians. Like all chamber music, the Intermezzo concerts are a lot more intimate than orchestral music, and let you hear each musician shine individually. That's why those playing it like chamber music so much.

Monday night's concert featured "Street Musicians," a lilting, playful, colorful piece that has never been heard before, anywhere. It was written by Anthony DiLorenzo, an Emmy Award-winner who lives and plays trumpet in Salt Lake City but is known around the world for his classical and movie compositions. It was a great bit of summer entertainment, crisp and full-bodied like the flesh of a ripe red apple, bringing to mind strolls in Europe and tangos in Rio. Like the bulk of what these colleagues (most of them have day jobs with Utah Symphony) play, it was also accessible, entertaining, and mostly melodic.

Though the series has devoted and appreciative fans, it could always use new ones. If anything, the Intermezzo crowd is even more blue-haired than the Utah Symphony & Opera audience. There's nothing wrong with that, but Intermezzo is a creative indoor escape from a sometimes oppressive summer, regardless of your hair color. (Christy Karras)

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