Thursday, July 5, 2012

Let music ward off the summer heat

Along with the air conditioning we all rely on, how's about a dose of breezy and graceful French music on Saturday to fight the summer heat? 

That's not entirely a joke. I remember once walking through the outdoor sauna that Charleston can be at Spoleto Festival time to attend one of the midday chamber music concerts. A cold towel for my face would've felt good, but the concert's opening turned out to be nearly as refreshing: the sprays of sound that a harp, flute and others dished out in Maurice Ravel's "Introduction and Allegro."  

Even though Ravel won't be on the agenda, the same kind of thing could happen Saturday night, when players from the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival come down from the cooler altitudes of the N.C. mountains to perform at Queens University of Charlotte.   

No matter how humid the night may be, the clean, simple lines of Erik Satie's "Gymnopedies," which starts the program, should clear the air. Claude Debussy's String Quartet offers a wealth of Gallic style and vitality. And Francis Poulenc's Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano can be as much fun as a fireworks display -- which is only fitting, since Bastille Day will be just a week away.