Posts Tagged ‘Christine Kwak’

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was August 3, 2017, the last concert of this year’s “Summer Stars,” entitled  “Orchestral Legends and Romance.” One could not hope to hear anything better elsewhere, and this event in the Great Auditorium, on a fairly cool Thursday night, was first rate and offered some extremely unique musical elements.  The concert  was  magnificent, but don’t forget, this is not the first time that marvelous  quality music was created in the GA.

I think of Caruso, Ronald Naldi, Phil Smith, Gordon Turk, Tony Bennett, and so many others over the years who relished the chance to perform in this very special wooden building with the marvelous acoustics. And the Great Auditorium is much more than a mere concert hall—there is that massive Hope-Jones organ that leaves one awestruck when it is allowed to bellow and shake the rafters.  That occurred last night.

Gordon Turk performed two pieces that revealed how our awesome Ocean Grove neighbor, the Hope-Jones organ, could behave when coupled with a 65 piece professional orchestra guided by Dr. Jason Tramm. The results were unforgettable.

And then there was Christine Kwak, a superb violinist, a young woman who was playing  a Guarneri instrument crafted in 1751.  And, as if that were too much to ask, this violin was the one that was used at the premier in 1878  of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35.  She is such a charismatic and skilled performer who also looked beautiful on stage in a shimmering strapless form-fitting dark blue gown.

The audience loved the performances and they loved her.

John Shaw, who introduced the program, reminded the audience of the 3 components that enter into fine music: the composer, the performer and the craftsmen who made the musical instruments used by the soloists and the orchestra.

I wanted our readers who did not attend to get an idea of what incredible classical music sounds like when all the pieces fit so well,  so I made a few video clips from my seat. The images are crummy, but the story is in the sound.  I suggest you ignore the head in front and just listen to the magic.  There are two clips below.

GORDON TURK with a roaring portion of the Fantasie Dialoguée for Organ and Orchestra by Léon Boellman.  It was one of the biggest musical sounds that you could ever hear. Crank up the volume and hold onto your fillings.



CHRISTINE KWAK with Tchaikovsky’s Violin concerto in D Major, Op. 55.  Isn’t she magnificent?  And turn her volume up too, after the middle of the clip—it’s goosebump time.    Sorry for the abrupt finish and the big head at the end. My arms gave out.


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