The Ciompi Quartett at Baldwin Auditorium

Yesterday, the entire family plus my dad went out to a nice, classical concert with Duke’s Ciompi Quartett at the newly renovated Baldwin Auditorium. The featured guests of the evening were the Krüger Brothers, a folk trio from Switzerland, based in North Carolina, that plays bluegrass and roots music.

So the concert started out with a strings quartet by Haydn. Then they went on to play Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 12 in D-flat Major, which was pretty challenging- especially for the kids. For the second half of the concert, the Krüger Bros. were on stage, and wow – that was a change in pace. They played some of their standard pieces and then they Ciompi quartet joined them in the the performance of Jens Krüger’s Appalachian Concerto. So for that, we had two violins, a viola, a cello, a banjo, a guitar and an acoustic bass guitar – all played by true masters of their instruments. The audience was treated to a skillful and gorgeous blend of serious classical form and bubbly, toe-tapping American folk music. The centerpiece on this performance was Jens Krüger’s soaring banjo play. Oddly, it was the banjo, of all things, that held it all together  – the technical, structured classical elements and the bubbly cheerfulness of the folk music.

Finally, the venue deserves some appreciation. Baldwin Auditorium is an old performance space, which Duke has renovated to the tune of $15M ! The acoustic are fantastic now,  and the seats are much more comfortable, too.

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