A Lilting Lunch

Concord, NH

One of the special treats of New Hampshire’s Capitol City is its wonderfully renowned downtown Music School, one of the largest in the country in fact. CCMS or the Concord Community Music School, hosts a bi-monthly lunchtime concert/lecture on Thursdays fondly known as the "Bach’s Lunch" Series. Beginning in November and ending in June of each school year, these collective musical smorgasbords feature samplings from a host of different genres provided by its faculty members, all of whom are equally comfortable on stage as professional musicians. Collaborative guest artists often participate as well. Today’s repast boasted a capacity crowd and featured faculty favorite and New England flat-picking folk star guitarist and mandolin player, David Surette, in collaboration with the fine fiddling finesse of guest artist and string man, Jordan Tirell-Wysocki.

The concert entitled: I Lit a Fire; Isn’t It Good: Music from the Swinging 60’s captured many musical seasonings and flavors - as Surette put it; that of, “Folk Blues meets Traditional Celtic with a [twist] of Ethnic World Music, specifically Eastern.” The selections paid particular homage to the composition styles of fine musician/composers David Graham, George Harrison, and Andy Irving, with an additional and intricately pleasing composition by Surette himself.

Surette and Tirell-Wysocki opened the program with a beautiful rendition of David Graham’s She Moved through the Fair. Their intimate ensemble immediately blanketed the audience with a lilting melody that created a welcoming hearth of musical warmth from that of the outside drizzle with no mind to the extraneous sounds of the settling in of the lunchtime crowd. Surette’s own solo composition Sky Boy took flight and created a magical carpet ride of melodic moods. This melodic tapestry not only visited subdued Eastern strains, but also featured elements akin to Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s 4 and 20 Years, building in density and ending with an unexpected flurry of pleasing harmonics. Sky Boy clearly demonstrated the depth of talent and compositional creativity from that of the humble folk virtuoso.

Seemingly, however, the most favorite “dish” on the menu of tunes featured a wonderful medley of Norwegian Wood /Here Comes the Sun. While these popular tunes proved to be perhaps the most familiar to the audience, Tirell-Wysocki’s brilliant musicianship created an incredibly sweet as well as newly stated departure into the upper registers of his fiddle. Tirell-Wysocki’s beautiful timbre itself or musical tone color created a sort of tonal painting which could be likened to shimmering snow crystals glistening on cold hard pack on an early winter’s day. The concert closed with the popular Irish jig, The Rose in the Heather and brought the audience to its feet. “I Lit a Fire…” certainly generated lilting toe tapping melodies leaving the audience a most happily satiated bunch. In closing and borrowing from another recital selection composed by George Harrison, All Things Must Pass, Surette and Tirell-Wysocki reminded us how much music can take away [the] gray of any day especially on one such as today’s and at lunchtime of all things!

"Bach’s Lunch"

Concerts run about 50 minutes and are free to the public, first come; first serve(d.) For more information on The Bach’s Lunch Series, contact: www.ccmusicschool.org

Today’s concert was sponsored by The Abigail B. Walker Lecture Fund, The Couch Trusts, TD Bank N.A. Trustee

Ellen Nordstrom
Lyric Mezzo & Vocal Coach