The sweet sounds of two elegant violins and a resonant bass penetrated concert-goers with their emotion on Saturday night at the Rouge Gallery, the sixth in the gallery’s music series, an evening of indulgence that paired the trio’s mellifluous tones with world-class wine and chocolate.
Organizer Nicola Everton introduced The Selkirk Camerata as a group of Kootenay musicians who joined together “with a common love of classical music in mind.”
Accomplished violinists Wendy Herbison and Vic Neufeld played poignant melodies and harmonies in an enchanting discourse with the low tones of Alex Nichol on the bass. Attempting to convey the grace of the bass, Nichol described his instrument as “a hippopotamus in a tutu doing ballet.”
The trio played a selection of works by a number of famous Baroque composers including Corelli, Haydn, Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach, prefacing each piece with its historical context. The group felt strongly that this centuries old music is still relevant and alive today.
Nichol noted that the Baroque period — which extended from around 1600 to the mid-1700s — made a lasting contribution to music in terms of both quality and quantity, setting new standards for composition and arrangements, and resulting in a great proliferation of new works.
The night wasn’t all music. Nichol, as it turns out, has long experience as a vintner and founded the Nichol Vineyard in the Okanagan, now operated by a new owner. Luckily for those in attendance, Nichol brought the vineyard’s award-winning Syrah to sample.
Before the intermission, Trish Dyer, the famous chocolatier and owner of The Mountain Nugget, gave some pointers on tasting chocolate when paired with wine. She offered guests a taste of 70-per-cent single-origin chocolate from the Caribbean island of Guanaja to accompany the Syrah.
There was nothing left but to sigh and settle in for the second half of musical bliss.
The next Rouge Gallery concert will feature Music From Old Spain, solos and duets from the 16th century performed on period guitars by masters Alan Rinehart and Clive Titmuss. Call the gallery at 362-9609 to reserve tickets, $12 in advance, $15 at the door, for the show at 7:30 p.m. on April 19.