On Saturday, May 8, 2021, the Candlelight Concert Society presented its first concert since the pandemic began. Mount Vernon Virtuosi, with Amit Peled conducting, performed at the Chrysalis at Symphony Woods in Columbia, Maryland.
It didn’t matter that the weather wasn’t anywhere near perfect — cold for May, with periods of rain and wind. The noise from airplanes, trees blowing, sirens, motorcycles on the road nearby, and children playing a bit too loudly didn’t detract from the pleasure of listening to music — great music — in person, with others who enjoy the arts.
Mount Vernon Virtuosi transported the audience away from all distractions from the beginning to end of the concert. It opened with Mozart’s bright and lilting “Divertimento In D Major, K. 136,” which reminded us that spring is really here. The concert concluded with Piazzolla’s “Libertango,” with its Latin overtones in a dance of love.
The highlights of the performance were Haydn’s “Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major” and Ennio Morricone’s “Love Theme” from the film, “Cinema Paradiso.” Those pieces took Peled from the role of conductor and had him pick up his beloved cello. These two selections gave us a chance to hear Peled’s unique talent. Barber’s soft and sweet sounding “Adagio for Strings’ and Tchaikovsky’s airy but occasionally somber “String Quartet Op.11, No. 2 Andante cantabile,” perfectly rounded out the program while the audience hung on every live note.
Mount Vernon Virtuosi transported the audience away from all distractions…a delight.
Mount Vernon Virtuosi is a Baltimore-based orchestra established by Peled, a cello teacher at Peabody for the past 18 years, and comprised of former students of the music school. The non-profit group usually plays for free, often at schools, hospitals, and prisons. They also present community concerts. If you get a chance to see them perform, they are a delight.
Hopefully Candlelight Concert Society and other groups will continue to adapt to the elements this spring and summer until they can present offerings safely indoors. Until then, those of us who long to see the performing arts live and in-person again will be thrilled with wonderful outdoor events like this one.
Running Time: One hour and 20 minutes.
For more information on Mount Vernon Virtuosi go to their website. Candlelight Concert Society will be presenting more programs in the future. Go to this link to find out more about them and their events.
If you wish to read more about Amit Peled, you can read Susan Brall’s ‘A Quick 5.’