Matinee Musicale welcomes spring with piano performances

Published 5:30 pm Sunday, March 24, 2024

The setting for the March meeting of Matinee Musicale was the home of Terry Doremus. A large crowd of members and guests gathered on this sunny, spring-like day for the month’s program.

All members of this club love classical (in a broad sense of the word) music; several are capable performing artists in their own right. Five of those performers joined forces to provide a delightful “Member Program.” Pianists were Terry Doremus, Carrene Scafidel, Pam Womack, and Lynne Lofton. The vocalist for the morning was Libby Hewitt.

The program began with the spirited piano duet “Celebration,” by Lynn F. Olsen, superbly played by Scafidel and Doremus.

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Next was the lovely eight-hand, two-piano arrangement of “St. Anthony Chorale” from “Brahms’ Variations On a Theme,” by Haydn. This lovely composition was splendidly played by the pianists.

The next piece was played by Ms. Scafidel and Ms. Doremus and was dedicated to Celeste Robbins, much beloved former Matinee Musicale member and long-time Brookhaven piano teacher. “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Serenade” (A Little Night Music), written by Mozart, was played quite skillfully by the duo.

Next, Libby Hewitt charmed the audience with her engaging alto voice. She began her group of songs with “You Do Not Walk Alone” by Hagenberg, a traditional Irish blessing set to a gentle, flowing melody.

Next, “The 23rd Psalm,” with music written by Ms. Hewitt, was poetically and prayerful. The music itself was poignant and evocative, yet powerful.

“Dog Day Blues,” words and music written by the vocalist, was humorous and even comedic at times. Her strong, solid voice is well suited for the blues; she sings with incredible confidence.

Libby Hewitt has the ability to connect with her audience, drawing them in with every phrase. She is charming! She was quite capably accompanied by C. Scafidel.

Next on the program was another piano duet, “Jazz Prelude,” by W. Gillock. It was a delightful piece and was played with precision by Doremus and Scafidel.

The only piano solo of the day was performed by C Scafidel. “Intermezzo in A Major”, Op. 118, No. 2, by Johannes Brahms, is a moving, poignant piece. Ms. Scafidel played this with a tender, yet confident touch.

A solid hit with the audience was another four-hand selection, “C.S. Theme and Variations,” Opus 6, by R. Compton (and was dedicated to Victor Borge.) C.S. stands for “Chopsticks” and is the theme upon which the whole composition is based. This was masterfully played by Doremus and Scafidel. A delightful piece, it is very much a parody and, as such, was superbly played by the pianists. At one point, the two performers actually change places on the piano bench, as the secondo player ascends all the way up the keyboard. This selection was a delightful way to lighten up any mood!

A rousing piece to end the program was the second eight-hand performance of the day, “Allegro Deciso” from Handel’s Water Music. All four pianists played this incredibly well, skillfully articulating demanding passages with assurance and grace.

As declared by so many, a wonderful time was had by all!

Hostesses serving with Mrs. Doremus were Mrs. Eddie Dixon, Suzanne Noble, and Mrs. Mike Milholen.