DaPonte, tea and thee

Posted:  Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 11:45am

The DaPonte String Quartet performed to a full house at a benefit concert held at Bigelow in East Boothbay Feb. 13. The audience spanned multiple generations — with music lovers aged 4 and up. Families, friends, and neighbors all gathered for a lovely afternoon of tea and chamber music to show their support of Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library.

Tables and chairs were arranged on both sides of the quartet in the open, first-floor lobby area of the internationally known research facility.

The quartet — violinists Lydia Forbes and Ferdinand “Dino” Liva, cellist Myles Jordan and Kristen Monke on viola — all highly accomplished musicians, performed beautifully. The DaPonte String Quartet is a treasure to be sure. Forbes, who resides in Alna, has performed throughout Europe with ensembles and at festivals. Jordan, Forbes’ husband as well as fellow musician, has performed as a soloist and with chamber ensembles throughout the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Monke was a founding member of the Anacapa String Quartet in California, played in the Santa Barbara Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, among others. She is a faculty member of the Rockport-based Bay Chamber Community Music School. In addition to being a masterful musician, Liva has also been a conductor and assistant professor at Wilkes University, and conductor of the Portland Symphony Youth Orchestra among others. Liva and Jordan are the  founding members of the DaPonte String Quartet.

Selections by American composer John Cage from “Living Room Music,” were interesting and engrossing. This work of Cage’s requires the use of ordinary objects, such as those found in a living room — books,  windows, tables, magazines, etc. as percussion instruments. One of the movements, “Story,” included rhythmic speaking  and singing sections using words from Gertrude Stein’s ”The World Is Round.” (“Once upon a time the world was round and you could go on it around and around.”) Other movements included intriguing sounds made with voices, not objects. Just fabulous.  

Vivaldi’s “Concerto in G Minor, Op 3, No 2, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Contrapunctus IX and XVIII from “The Art of the Fugue” and “Air” from his Orchestral Suite in D Major (a huge crowd pleaser) and a Syrian folk song by  Ya TiraTira were among the works performed at the concert.

The tea was served by Mary Norwood of the Merry Auld Tea Company and volunteers. Norwood also created a special limited edition tea for the library, which was served at the event.

“First Edition” is a black tea with rose and hibiscus flowers. The tea blend was delightfully aromatic and delicious complementing the sweet and savory finger foods perfectly.

Bravo to the Merry Auld Tea Company, the volunteers at the event and Bigelow.

And to the DaPonte String Quartet ... Encore! Encore!