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Farewell, sweet Ambrosia

The month of May marks the high water mark of the Lane Series concerts in Vermont, yes, even among the numerous spectacular concerts in this season that had been scheduled by Jane Ambrose and company-to wit, a recent, brilliant program of duets by Soovin Kim, violin, and Ieva Jokobaviciute, piano; this event brought the audience to its feet several times to record their satisfaction with both the music and in particular with the performance of the music.

A late work by Schubert, Rondeau Brilliante in B Minor D895, was the only composition of the evening which edged close to the more traditional function of the piano as accompanist.

I found the Rondeau not so interesting musically, but its uniqueness in the canons of Schubert's musical output can certainly cause the concert-goer to expect some performances of it.

More to the point was the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Debussy, a gorgeous example of impressionistic music and of parity between players. The panels of sound, programless, let them speak for themselves, and a dialogue between piano and violin was a natural outgrowth of the flow of the music per se and did not need any words for meaning. It was a glorious representation of all of Debussy's linkage to impressionist paintings and the poetry of Apollonaire

Natalie Neuert asked us to sit for a moment while recognition was made of Jane Ambrose for 23 years of service as president of the Lane Series. The gift to her was a composition titled Wild Ambrosia for violin and piano by Pierre Jalbert, a composer who grew up in Burlington. The composition was based on a four-note theme that grew out of her last name (in German). The work is not just another dedicatory composition, for like Ambrose herself, the work is clear structurally and it develops naturally and meaningfully. The work received a stellar performance.

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