Friday, March 19, 2010

Quattrocelli Free Show at Amnesia

Classical Revolution hosted a free show by Quattrocelli. Amazing. Amazing this touring German quartet can play in Turlock but not book a paying show in San Francisco. This is how low SF has fallen. Turlock has more opportunity for touring groups than San Francisco. I'm just saying.

At any rate, we are so fortunate that Classical Rev could get this happening for us. I arrived a bit late, so I didn't see all they opened with; it was apparently an Americana set featuring Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, and the like. Lukas, the birthday boy cellist, vocalized a "trombone solo" on "Summertime" using his bow as a prop slide. It was very amusing and brought much laughter from the crowd.

The second half of the concert was an amazing set of film score music. Highlights included original arrangements of the Magnificent Seven title theme, the Empire March from Stern Kriege, some Morricone, and a really touching rendition of My Way. The entire show was performed off-book, with the notable exception being a few notes on slide-whistle, for which there was, comically and conspicuously, a music stand and part.

The sound of the group is amazing. You know how in the competitive barbershop world, the quartets carefully audition voices which blend perfectly? This was like that, but on cellos. The tone matched so perfectly, it was astounding. You could oftentimes hardly distinguish who was playing what part, you had to look closely. Quite amazing.

Outside of matched tone, there was lots of interesting cello technique on display. Notably, one large-handed cellist could strum his cello like a guitar, and also play it with a plectrum like a large guitar. This made an amazing sound.

If you missed Quattrocelli here in SF, catch them March 20 in Turlock (no kidding), or on the 21st and 22nd in Los Gatos (also no kidding.) Check their website for details on those gigs and the rest of their tour.

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