The Enchanted Garden, Summer 2021

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The Enchanted Garden – August 2021 Concert

Smooth steppingstones and a shaded, leafy entry way greet you at the gate of this beautiful garden, where one is transported to another world just steps away from the street. String and oboe sounds float in the air as the musicians warm up in the studio off the portal, with some light-hearted laughter punctuating certain phrases. Puffy white clouds balanced overhead.

Sparkling water and iced teas were available to all upon arrival to this musical oasis.

Seating was on the cool grassy lawn in comfortable chairs.

Artistic Director Pamela Epple relayed the story of this program which showcased her former student, Lucian Avalon who graduated from Juilliard this past Spring. It was a full circle.

The music started with a mesmerizing Rhapsody for solo violin by Jessie Montgomery, played by Phoenix Avalon. The piece reflects the gamut of emotions we have all felt throughout the past 18 months.

Alan Hovhaness’s Four Bagatelles followed, (originally for string quartet but this time with an added oboe) emerging magically with an emotional folk feeling that is chant-like amidst sliding pizzicato. The bitter-sweet heart of the third Bagatelle led to the shadowy feel of the opening of the final Bagatelle, setting up a perfectly spooky atmosphere.

Fresh and inventive, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Blake Songs is a song cycle for tenor or soprano voice and oboe from ‘Songs of Innocence’ and ‘Songs of Experience’.  Ah! Sunflower, The Lamb, Cruelty has a Human Heart and The Piper were the ultimate pastoral tastes for a garden setting.

A virtuoso movement by Haydn from String Quartet in G minor transitioned to a heady composition Succubus Moon, by Eleanor Alberga  (oboe and strings) that explores dark sides of the human psyche. Romantic and demonic aspects lie side by side, and the music moves from sparse to driven, to dreamy and moonstruck until finally drifting away. It ends with an unusual C major chord – a ray of hope.

Astor Piazzola’s Four for Tango, his only string quartet, pushed the instruments to their limits with new techniques, sounds, and even parts of the instruments no one had ever used before. It was a rollicking finale.

Enchanted Garden, August 2021

Music of

  • Jessie Montgomery
  • Hovhaness
  • Vaughan Williams
  • Haydn
  • Eleanor Alberga
  • Piazzolla


  • Ruxandra Marquardt and Phoenix Avalon, violins
  • Allie Norris, viola
  • Sally Guenther, cello
  • Lucian Avalon, oboe
  • Katherine Leidlein, soprano
Enchanted Garden 2021 Concert Series

The Enchanted Garden – June 2021 Concert

Entering The Enchanted Garden, one was immediately transported to another world just steps away from the street. The stone path leading down the lane was cool, leafy and inviting as we checked in at the gate. String sounds floated in the air as the artists warmed up, and a light breeze wafted overhead.

Sparkling water and iced teas were available to all upon arrival to this musical oasis.

Seating was on the shaded grassy lawn in comfortable chairs.

A brief Welcome and then the music began with a rarely heard movement by Fanny Mendelssohn who endured gender constraints her entire life. The first notes sent shivers and there were many “good tears”, emblematic of so much time away from live music. Following up was the sultry tango ‘Oblivion’ by Astor Piazzolla and then the spiritual ‘Deep River’ by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. As each piece finished you could hear birds tweeting and the low gurgle of water from the rocky fountain nearby in this lush, musical garden.

Beethoven’s eloquent Quartet #3 in D from 1798 was the four-movement centerpiece of this program; a perfect achievement that was rich, chromatic and effortless, ending in a puff of smoke.

The final work ‘Strum’ was composed in 2006 by the violinist/composer Jessie Montgomery; full of pizzicato lines, some as complex as a Bartok quartet, bursts of banjo and fiddle music that demonstrated an insightful new-music perspective on cross cultural intersections of American history.


Enchanted Garden - June 2021

Music of

  • Fanny Mendelssohn
  • Astor Piazzolla
  • Samuel Coleridge Taylor
  • Jesse Montgomery
  • Beethoven


  • David Felberg and Ruxandra Marquardt, violins
  • Alice Norris, viola
  • James Holland, cello
Enchanted Garden view

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