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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

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Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Chamber Music Weekend - 1

[Insert greeting here ;-) ]

I'm at CMW this week. It's an experience that goes so far beyond words that the thought of chronicling it approaches absurdity. However, I'm going to take a few notes here from time to time to help jog our memories in the future.

We started Monday morning. This year we're trying a pre-CMW track, ostensibly for mentors, which runs three sessions each day: 9:30 - 11:30, 2:00 - 4:00, and 7:15 - 9:15. (The last session was moved back to accomodate locals interested in meeting the swim time at the college pool.) Monday morning we picked up our cellist, Val Taylor, in Atlanta, and arrived in Collegedale around 9. By 9:30 we were at the music building and getting set up. Our other players are David Escobar and David Greene. Monday morning we played the Haydn "Emporer" quartet and the Ravel quartet. For lunch we went to Imperial Garden.

Monday afternoon we were joined by Emily McArthur, and we played the Dvorak quintet that include string bass, and a Mendelssohn quintet for two violas. Supper was Grillers, etc. at my parents' place.

Monday evening we played the Schubert C Major quintet for two cellos. (I got to play cello!) We meant to finish with a Brahms Sextet (Ellen Francisco and Kristy Nelson joined us) but we could not find it, and had to settle for the Brahms quintet no 2. (?)

This morning Bruce Ashton joined us for the Schubert "Trout" quintet (I got to play bass!) and the Schumann E-flat Piano quintet. We decided to use the Schumann first and last movements to open and close the Thursday evening concert. We liked something from the Mendelssohn too. Before lunch we took a shot at a Delius quartet, and found it to be lacking what we were looking for. Lunch was sandwiches, etc. at Mom & Dad's.

After lunch David Greene called to say that he was troubleshooting something for his employer, so we went forward with an early Beethoven quartet. (Val, David E, Emily and myself.) We had just finished it when David Greene arrived. Bev Self had stopped by earlier to ask us to play something for Sabbath School. The slow movement of the quartet is very heavy, with a lot of very long pauses, and I think we may use that for the concert too. Is four pieces enough?

With both Davids onhand I excused myself and suggested that the players go forward with another quartet while I take care of checking my e-mail and writing this epistle. I'd better go see how they're doing.

My hopes for the rest of the day are to go to Provino's for supper and to play the Mendelssohn Octet this evening.

More later.


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