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The Eliot Chamber Players Friday night in the House Library presented an evening musicale that was surprisingly good. The room and the size of the performing group were ideal for the program consisting of Bach and Vivaldi. The only factor to mar the eighteenth century aspect was the number of people almost hanging from the book shelves listening.
The outstanding reasons for the concert's success were the fine tone and technical excellence, usually lacking in amateur performances. The Chamber Players sounded almost professional. The balance sounded a bit odd at times but this can easily be overlooked in view of the greater accomplishments.
Cynthia Sweeney, soprano, and Howard Brown, flautist, in Bach's celebrated "Coffee cantata," and the latter in Vivaldi's Concerto for flute and string orchestra were probably the best soloists, although all were good.
Bach's often heard Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 opened the program. It was a pleasure to listen to this essentially chamber piece played in a relatively small room by a small group as Bach originally wrote it. Earl Ravenal handled the extremely difficult solo violin passage with great dexterity.
It is unquestionably fine that the Houses are once again vying with each other in presenting concerts, operas, and the like. House concerts in the future will have to go far to be as enjoyable as this one.
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