October 3, 2010
Rhapsody in Blue
The first community concert of our fall series featured pianist Sara Davis Buechner. She played a Haydn sonata and another Sonata by a contemporary of Haydn's named Dussek, neither of which grabbed me particularly but then after the intermission she played The Cocktail Suite by Dana Suesse who also wrote "You ought to be in pictures" and other famous songs. I loved this whole suite; the four parts were named after cocktails - Old-Fashioned, champagne, Bacardi and Manhattan and the music was playful and challenging at the same time. I'm not that familiar with cocktails, except for champagne and that one was about as perfect a musical description of champagne as I could imagine. She saved the best for the last: George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which pretty well transported me and tapped into my huge love of what I call show tunes, and most of the rest of the audience must have liked it too because at the end she got a big standing ovation and even some whistles and cheers from the almost entirely over-60 audience of about 900 community concert ticket holders. Buechner is very dry and funny and she's great in her teaching mode too, sharing all kinds of music history to give context to the pieces she's playing.