House Music

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With Spoleto prep consuming me lately, it’s been tough getting around to saying anything about last Tuesday’s season-ending concert from Chamber Music Charleston (formerly Charleston House Concerts, late of the Charleston Chamber Music Society), but the black-tie shindig seemed a nice way to send things out, even if my own tux stayed in the closet. After a short reception and some bubbly-fueled chatter about this and that — including the welcome but annoying rain that had just begun — a program of Baroque-ish Jean-Baptist Loeillet, contemporary Czech composer Ilja Hurnik (never heard of him until now), and Telemann went down in the second-floor ballroom of the Old Exchange Building at Broad and East Bay.

Everyone made much of the fact that on this week exactly 216 years ago, then-President George Washington sat in that very room and did exactly what we were doing — downed a few glasses, enjoyed chamber music and, quite possibly, bitched about the inconvenience of a spring shower. A high point of the program was ponytailed CSO bassist Edward Allman performing the Southeast premiere of his own four-part composition Short Suite for Solo Bass. Allman played his instrument like a cello and made his theatrical most of what’s gotta be a rare opportunity. Solo works for bass are probably about as common as , and he lapped up his moment in the spotlight like milk.

Sandra Nikolajevs and company have finished their first season well in the black, which not all local classical music outfits can say — though the CSO is doing a hell of a lot better now than they were at this time last year. Incidentally, Chamber Music Charleston’s already announced their next season, starting Sept. 14 with Mozart and Borodin at the Calhoun mansion. They’re also still looking for a couple of SOB or Kiawah homes to fill for their coming season’s House Concerts. (If you live on either JI, thanks, but maybe some other time.) Don’t want to wait until September? Catch ’em in their Piccolo Spoleto concert Mon. June 4, at 6 pm at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park.

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