Got Horns? The Cartier Connoisseur Soiree Does!
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It’s springtime in Las Vegas! For about a month, we can enjoy outdoor parties without either freezing or roasting, and then we’re back in our climate-controlled houses and casinos. It’s a shame; many of our city’s residents have created fabulous backyard environments, and there are some musical instruments that are just perfect for outdoor playing.
Just other day I was downtown when I heard a distant trumpet. Instantly I could tell it wasn’t a recording. Sure enough, a street musician was performing two blocks away, and breeze carried clear notes easily to my ears. It sharpened my anticipation for tonight’s performance, final Soirée of Cartier Connoisseur Series.
Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, both music professors at Northwestern University , have been performing as a husband-and-wife duo for three decades. Tonight, beside pool at home of our hosts Bill and Lynn Weidner, couple raised two very small horns and transported us to Baroque Europe with Johann Vierdanck’s lively “Capriccioso for Two Trumpets.” Geyer explained afterward that these were called “piccolo trumpets” for their small size and high pitch. An American piece, “The Glendy Burk,” had Barbara starting out with small horn but soon switching to a larger, richer-sounding flugelhorn from arsenal of trumpets in front of them. This tune, named for a Civil War-era riverboat, was written by Stephen Foster and inspired by Negro songs he heard sung along riverbanks. The horn melodies, accompanied by piano and percussion, carried beautifully in evening air. I hope residents across golf course had their doors open.