In the News: Washington Square Music Festival

Today’s New York Times features a review, Unusual Sounds to Play in a Park,” of this week’s concert by the Washington Square Music Festival (it was the second performance of the season):

The programming at free outdoor summer events often favors standard repertory, but the Washington Square Music Festival veered far off the beaten path with a concert called “The Joy of Unfamiliar Music” on Tuesday evening. A large crowd braved sweltering weather to hear the Festival Chamber Ensemble play works by Berio, Emmanuel Séjourné, Corrado Maria Saglietti and Vincenzo Gambaro.

Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D minor (BWV 1052) was the only chestnut in the lineup, and it was offered with an unusual twist. The marimba player Pius Cheung, who has transcribed Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations for his instrument, played the solo part with flair, although the softer passages were sometimes barely audible despite amplification, and there was some shaky ensemble work.

More at the New York Times.

Of course, braving the “sweltering weather” was not easy for those in the audience because the amazing two trees that previously surrounded that location amidst the walkway were chopped down. I was told people were complaining at the premiere performance July 12th that there are no trees and therefore no shade to absorb some of the heat. The designer told me personally that those two trees would not be axed – but they were. If they still remained, the stage would have some shade. (There’s a lot of tree issues going on at the park right now.)

There’s no mention in the review of the low stage (which was 36″ high and is now 28″) and how this affected sight lines. (Previous WSP Blog coverage here.) I have not attended a performance this year so I cannot report personally yet.

There are two more concerts of the Washington Square Music Festival Tuesday, July 26th and Tuesday, August 2nd. All shows begin at 8 p.m.

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2 Comments

  1. Jane Murphy

     /  July 21, 2011

    I would love to visit the Hawks that live in Washington Square Park. Can you tell me where I might find them? I regularly visit Palemale and I would love to see ….”Pip”. and his family. Thanks

  2. Hi Jane!

    Thanks for writing. I don’t know if you can really determine where they will be generally since they could be inside or outside the park. They don’t live IN the Park but right around it.

    There’s a post in the Violet and Bobby category of the site with Bobby’s favorite locations, most around the park, on the surrounding buildings. (Categories is on right side bar of this blog .. scroll down.)

    Pip has been spotted behind the construction area (southwest side) and then also in trees throughout the park as well as surrounding buildings (including Judson Church – on southern side across from the park). I haven’t had the best luck locating him or Bobby and Violet but I’m usually looking at other things going on (!) and then spend a short time searching for them.

    If you find people with binoculars – they are probably onto something.

    I guess the gist of it is … it’s a bit ‘hit or miss.’

    You can check Urban Hawks Blog and Roger_Paw Blog for more info.

    Let me know if you come by and find them!

    best,
    Cathryn.
    WSP Blog

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