May 25, 2019

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

 

A “Fugue for Spoken Chorus” and a horn concerto without the horn filled the afternoon with a departure from the traditional.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

“Geographical Fugue for Speaking Chorus” by Ernst Toch was performed by Paulie Davis, soprano; Susan Stanley, alto, Jim Stanley, tenor and Jerome Kessler, bass.

Jerome Kessler, Conductor and Music Director of the Topanga Symphony for the past 34 years, chose music for the Symphony’s second annual fundraiser that stretched from the serious to the comical and thoroughly entertained the audience on September 20, at the beautiful Tuscali Mountain Inn hosted by Teresa and Bruce Royer.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

TSO Board Member Jeanne Mitchell visited with Foster Sherwood and Teresa Royer, who, with her husband, Bruce Royer, offered the Tuscali Inn for the fundraiser.

The Tuscan architecture and immaculate surroundings were a perfect setting for the chamber music performed by the Pipe Dreams Flute Quartet, cellist Jerome Kessler accompanied by virtuoso pianist Theodora Primes, Topanga Symphony principal clarinetist Jim Stanley and Susan Stanley participating in the spoken word fugue.

The Pipe Dreams Flute Quartet including principal Topanga Symphony flutist Paulie Davis with Katrina Curdy, Rhondda Dayton and Nancy Marfisi, performed “Four Selections from Carmen” by Georges Bizet.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

Pipe Dreams Flute Quartet played four selections from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen,” (L-R) Rhondda Dayton, Paulie Davis, Nancy Marfisi and Katrina Curdy.

The brilliant flute quartet brought life and joy to the arrangement of the famous classical piece and was a delightful beginning to an afternoon of chamber music.

Maestro Jerome Kessler on cello with beautiful piano accompaniment by Ms. Primes performed the next two pieces for cello and piano, “Serenade for Cello and Piano” by Alan Shulman, and “Sonata #1 in C minor, Op. 32” by Camille St. Saens. Serious classical music intimately received and enjoyed at arms length from the musicians was the experience Topanga Symphony patrons came for and experienced.

The “Geographical Fugue for Spoken Chorus” by Ernst Toch was a departure from the traditional. Paulie Davis, Soprano, Susan Stanley, Alto, Jim Stanley, Tenor, and Kessler, Bass, used metered words to expressively enunciate various cities, countries and other geographical landmarks including Mississippi, Honolulu, Titicaca, Canada, Tibet, Tibet and Tibet, to name a few. The musicians appeared to enjoy the performance as much as, if not more than, the delightfully surprised audience.

Mozart’s “Horn Concerto #4 in E Flat,” the Allegro movement, was another surprise of the afternoon when Kessler began with the story of how his French horn somehow came to be missing prior to the concert. He then continued “…on with the show,” not missing a beat as he artfully sang the piece expressing words of sorrow and forlorn about his missing horn as Ms. Primes accompanied him on piano with a grin of acceptance.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

Topanga artist Robyn Feeley volunteered to create some of the delicious food throughout the day.

At intermission, the real work of the audience commenced, as they bid on many items solicited and organized by Rebecca Catterall. Local artists and community members generously donated all the items in an effort to keep the music of the Topanga Symphony going.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

(L-R) Karen Sherwood, Susan Nissman and Neil Shaw (in his anti-paparazzi shades) enjoyed some food and drink before the performance.

Amazingly delicious food was prepared lovingly by Topanga Symphony principal oboist Margreet Ray and assistant concertmaster violinist Katherine Shaw with their husbands Steve Ray and Neil Shaw there to support in every way possible. Tom Mitchell served as the skillful bartender, serving wine that was generously donated by Bonnie Graves of Topanga.

Following intermission, Kessler returned to play his own original composition on the cello with Primes on piano, “Souvenir VII,” showing his serious talent as a musician and composer extraordinaire.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

(L-R) Jim Stanley, Theodora Prime and Jerome Kessler played a Beethoven Trio in B Flat Major for clarinet, piano and cello.

The afternoon’s music concluded with “Trio in B flat major for Piano, Clarinet and Cello Op. 11” by Ludwig van Beethoven. Jim Stanley on clarinet, Kessler on cello and Primes on piano filled the ornate room with the sounds it was made for, a room filled with classical music lovers enjoying the height of artistic musical excellence.

The Topanga Symphony will be performing the next concert at the Topanga Community House on Sunday, November 8.

For more information about the upcoming concert and how you can become at Friend of the Topanga Symphony with a donation to keep classical music thriving in Topanga: www.topangasymphony.com.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

Joanna Gunst and husband, Paul Grzymkowski, relaxing before the musical performances.

PHOTO BY KATIE DALSEMER MESSENGER © 2015

Tuscali Mountain Inn Hosts the Topanga Symphony Second Annual Fundraiser

Arthur Nissman (R) came out to support long-time friend Jerome “Jerry” Kessler TSO conductor and musician.