Thursday, May 29, 2008

Baguette Quartette

Yesterday I attended a fabulous affair hosted by the incomparable Paula Le Duc, renowned as one of the best caterers in the Bay Area, and with good reason. The event was held at Beaulieu Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in wine country. The food was fabulous, the sun was shining, with just the hint of a breeze to blow the fine linens gently.

I was in the company of some of the best event planners in the business: Julie Nunn Martin, Rebecca Feeny, Traci Steuteville, Brooke Menconi, Angela Nelson, Mary Mix, Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini, Kathryn Kalabokes, Dee Merz and Kristjan Gavin among others. It was a heavenly day.

One of the carefully planned elements was the musical group Baguette Quartette playing real parisian cafe music. Oh my goodness! I have never liked accordion music, but this entirely changed my mind. This quartet of talented musicians played lively pieces from the 1920's and 1930's. If you closed your eyes you could imagine yourself in pre-war Paris at an outdoor cafe watching the beautiful people walk by.

When we edit an event, we get to observe how good or how bad a musical group is.
o Do they play on key? Do they hit any sour notes?
o Do they play as a group in a cohesive manner or does it sound like they have never played together before?
o Is there a nice balance among the instruments or do they all scream louder and louder to compete for your attention?
o Do the musicians play with expression, feeling and intensity - with passion?
o Do they transcend the notes on the page and take you to a another place?
o Do they entertain you?

Well, this group was perfect -they were technically excellent, they were beautifully balanced, they played at a perfect volume to lend an air to the party yet not so loud that you had to shout to be heard. They went beyond that. They dressed the part of 1930's Parisians and their repertoire was thoroughly unique. Mon dieu! They were superb! They made beautiful music and delighted our hearts.

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