The Millerton News - May 12, 2016

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Graceful stitching at the altar

An assortment of kneelers and pillows in needlepoint’ there are some done in crewel as well. Note the symbols used throughout the items.

Judith O'Hara Balfe

So much of what we know about religion comes from the written word, but much can be found in paintings, sculptures — and needlework.

Famous tapestries hang in castles and museums around the world, but some of the most beautiful pieces can be found on altars, on kneelers, and in the vestments and hangings found in great cathedrals and in some small country churches.

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Spanish sonatas and serenades for Easter

José Manuel Gil de Gálvez, left, took a bow with members of the Málaga Chamber Orchestra at The Hotchkiss School Music Center.

Alexander Wilburn

Adding some international vigor to Easter Weekend — or Semana Santa, “The Holy Week,” as it’s known in Spain — The Hotchkiss School held a performance by the Spanish string ensemble the Málaga Chamber Orchestra in the Esther Eastman Music Center on Saturday evening, March 30. Featuring six violins, two violas, two cellos, and a double bass, the chamber music orchestra, which has performed across Europe and the U.S., is led by violinist and Grammy-nominated music producer José Manuel Gil de Gálvez. He has shared the stage with renowned musicians like classical and flamenco guitarist Pepe Romero and South Korean classical cellist Hee-Young Lim and performed at locations like The Berlin Philharmonie, The Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, and The Seoul Arts Center.

With a flamboyant head of long ringlet curls and a mustache/goatee combination reminiscent of Colin Firth’s Elizabethan lord in “Shakespeare in Love,” Gil de Gálvez is a theatrical violinist to take in live, infusing his playing with a passionate performance that heats up lively numbers like the opening Spanish serenade, “Impresiones de España” by 19th-century composer Joaquín Malats. Gil de Gálvez was in full command during his captivating violin solo, “Adiós a la Alhambra” by composer Jesús de Monasterio, who served as honorary violinist of the Capilla Real de Madrid. “Adiós” is an example of de Monasterio’s Alhambrism style, the 19th-century nationalist romantic movement, which, like the contemporary Málaga Chamber Orchestra, was keenly interested in the restoration of music from the Spanish popular heritage.

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Harp guitar, hoops and hops at the brewery

Stephen Bennett

Photo by John Coston

‘I hope you like guitars,” was Stephen Bennett’s opening line on Saturday, March 30 as he launched a two-hour solo performance flanked by guitars on all sides.

Bennett’s self-effacing humor peppered his brilliant finger-picking at the Great Falls Brewery in North Canaan as he played many familiar pieces ranging from “Oh Shenandoah” to the Cowardly Lion’s tune from the Wizard of Oz, “If I Only Had the Nerve.”

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