Nov 232014

You just can’t beat unamplified live chamber music in a cozy intimate acoustic like the Camerata Musica series of concerts to remind you of what enjoying music is all about.

After Cindy told me about the Camerata Musica concerts (thank you Cindy!), I immediately became a sponsoring patron, and we have been going to every concert this year, and they have been uniformly fantastic.

Camerata Music programs on turntable

After a dinner of scrumptious sautéed scallops and a couple of glasses of Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve 2011 Chardonnay, Cindy and I made our way to the latest Camerata Musica concert, Byron Schenkman and Friends.

saute scallops

There was a stellar program of Mozart & Weber: Trio in B-flat Major for violin, cello, and piano, K. 502 (Mozart); Trio in G Minor for flute, cello, and piano, op. 63 (Weber); Fantasy in D Minor for piano, K. 397/385g (Mozart); and Quartet in B-flat Major for violin, viola, cello, and piano (Weber).

Byron Schenkman & Friends

Cindy and I always get there early so we can get a front row center seat, which happens to put us about the same distance from the musicians as I am from my hi-fi in my living room.

Byron Schenkman & Friends & living room hi-fi

Getting to hear world-class musicians like Byron Schenkman (piano), Paul Tab (flute), Liza Zurlinden (violin), Jason Fisher (viola), and Nathan Whittaker (violoncello) playing right in front of you is absolutely amazing and an immense pleasure. As I was sitting there in the front row I was thinking, “I’m in heaven!”

Byron Schenkman (piano), Paul Tab (flute), Liza Zurlinden (violin), Jason Fisher (viola), and Nathan Whittaker (violoncello) , courtesy of the Camerata Musica website.

Byron Schenkman (piano), Paul Tab (flute), Liza Zurlinden (violin), Jason Fisher (viola), and Nathan Whittaker (violoncello) , courtesy of the Camerata Musica website.

I really urge all of you to take time for a nice night out of live unamplified music in a small intimate setting. Not only will it be immensely enjoyable, you will also be supporting the arts, which is something important unto itself.

Here’s something else: you get to hear what live unamplified acoustic music really sounds like, a sound we’re all endeavoring to produce from our recorded music with our hi-fi rigs.

What does live chamber music sound like at a Camerata Musica concert? It sounds smooth, rich, colorful, intensely beautiful, and emotive. The natural timbre & presence and tone colors of piano, flute, violin, viola, and violoncello played by Byron Schenkman, Paul Tab, Liza Zurlinden, Jason Fisher, and Nathan Whittaker were positively otherworldly.

MC225 first listen - closeup


Here’s a hi-fi tidbit: My friend Leo was over Thursday night and we were listening to the newly arrived vintage McIntosh MC225 amplifier from Yves Beauvais at Vintage Vacuum Audio. Leo commented that the vintage Mac MC225 sounded a lot like live music in its presentation.

It’s true, the little MC225 comes the closest I’ve ever heard in my system to an amplifier sounding live the way it does like when I was sitting front-row-center with Cindy listening to the Byron Schenkman and Friends concert.

I’m going to have a lot more to say about my vintage McIntosh valve gear in the upcoming article for Positive Feedback Online. Stay tuned!

 Posted by at 3:38 pm

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