Cremona Family Reunion

Last night I played the first and last movements of the Mendelssohn Octet with four Strad violins and William Primrose's viola. I was invited last minute to the home of a wealthy Houstonite (who's brother is a well established violinist that has played in the L.A. Phil for 28 years). Anyway, these two seem to have a taste for really great instruments (Guido, who plays in the phil was actually able to buy his own Strad by way of some smart investments in real estate and a little bit a luck). I'm unclear on what exactly the point of this get-together was...there were lots of wealthy Houston people there...lots and lots of them...including the president of the Houston Symphony (who gave a little talk about donating to the symphony)...I think the whole evening was about buying these amazing instruments...but for us lowly musicians, it was a one time chance for us to play them.

Unfortunately for me, there were no nice to cellos to try out...but it was still fun playing with all these other instruments...everybody does sound instantly better...a little kid played the flashy first movement from a concerto and when he was handed Mozart's violin to try it a second time, most of his technical mishaps just vanished. The evening went really late...but after reading the Mendelssohn Octet, Dvorak Piano Quintet, and the Brahms B-flat Sextet you'd have to expect that...

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