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Whatcha gonna do for an encore!?

Many of us have trouble keeping our refrigerators free from clutter. Family photos, lists of things to do, mementos of all sorts, seem to claim their spaces along with places in our hearts. I, however, would like to lay claim to the unique distinction of having had the same piece of paper on my refrigerator for 21 years--a small Post-it note that reads: "Whatcha gonna do for an encore!?" The note arrived attached to a copy of the Sunday Times delivered at our door by beloved friend, artist Carmen D'Avino. We were then part of a lucky group of people to whom Carmen would deliver the New York Times on Sunday mornings.

It was 1996, our second full summer in the Hammond home, when I finally decided it was time to stop dreaming and get to work; it was time to show hubby Paul's artwork in the barn. After lots of hard labor, done with the help of good friends, the front room of the barn was cleared and cleaned, artwork installed, a sign hung, and our friend, Alex Raykov, agreed to come and play a program on his lute to commemorate the event.

Friends gathered, food was shared, artwork appreciated and as the sun went down Alex began to play. The moon and stars came out and the otherworldly magic of Renaissance music on plucked instrument wove a spell in the evening in tones that could be heard not only in the barn but across the yard before it. It was then that we realized the acoustics in the barn to be unusual, indeed!

Ever since that year, Alex Raykov has returned for his encore, driving north from Cortland in the company of friends and/or family who have traveled from even greater distances – always with an inspiring program of music from the Renaissance or Baroque Periods played on period instruments.

To hear this exalted music played in a setting similar to one of centuries past by a musician or musicians totally immersed in the music of those times is a most rare opportunity.

This year's answer to the 21-year-old question on the fridge is a sublime program of music by Handel, Couperin, Thomas Marc and Marin Marais.

Come one! Come all! This is indeed a unique musical opportunity not to be missed!


WHO: Alex Raykov, Alex Korolov, Kate Cushing and Thomas Klenck, aka Fragwerke Consort

WHAT: Music of Georg Friedrich Handel, Marin Marais, Thomas Marc and Francois Couperin

WHERE: The Iva Smith Memorial Gallery of Fine Art, 627 State Highway 37, Hammond, NY 13646

COST: Donation for musician expenses


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