My goodness, what doesn’t call itself a festival nowadays? Even delicious celebrations of green chile and barbecue are among my favorite feasts, to be sure, but not necessarily festivals in the, ahem, traditional sense of the word.
Walking up the aisle at the Lensic Performing Arts Center during intermission at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s last concert of the season on Aug. 22, I heard startled comments everywhere: “Whew,” “Astonishing,” “Where’s that been all my life?”
Believe it: Summer’s on the wane. The kids are back in school; cottonwood leaves are falling into the Acequia Madre; and when you read this, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s 39th season will be history.
When Gyorgy Sándor thundered through Schumann’s “Carnaval” in Alamogordo’s public school auditorium a few decades ago, a little kid in the audience fell tumultuously in love with the piano. That would be me. And when Joyce Yang had her way with “Carnaval” at a recent Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival noon concert, Schumann plus Yang made that love affair seem like only yesterday.
Among the 35 or so programs the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival mounts this summer, we’d have to count four quartets. Nope, not Tom Stearns Eliot’s wartime sequence. We’re talking four string quartet ensembles.