Musical mojo

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Walking across A-quad during Common Hour last week yielded this triple treat: a world-class cellist playing a fantastical mini-concert; a table full of—get this—one thousand chocolate-chip cookies; and a sky so impossibly blue that the whole scene felt like a dream.

Matt Haimovitz, the extraordinary artist who performed with the orchestra A Far Cry in the Vail Series season-opener at Swasey Chapel, staged a short program for a spellbound audience under the shade of maple trees near Doane Library.

Beginning with Bach, Haimovitz wowed the crowd with a half-hour set that showcased his virtuosity. There was a sensitive tribute to the events of 9/11, a musical palindromic paean to Shakespeare, and a raucous rendering of The Beatles’ Helter Skelter. But Haimovitz really turned it on with his arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’ The Star-Spangled Banner which, he told the crowd, he was performing in honor of those who were lost at the U.S. Consulate building in Libya just two days ago.

It was very moving and beautiful. We’ll remember this one for a long time.

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