This post is to document my evolving programming decisions, as I begin to accumulate a wealth of backyard concert experience this summer.
"My dear friend _____ gave me your name. She said you are a wonderful cellist and came to her yard to play a concert a few days ago. It is my husband's 60th birthday this Sunday. I would love to surprise him somehow, and was wondering if you might possibly be free to play for a half an hour in our backyard? It's a very private space. Let me know if this would be at all possible. He loves the Bach cello concertos."
1. Prelude in G ("I'm sure that you know this one.")
5. Minuets 1 & 2
Conversation about any music education experience, jazz interest, daughter's flute lessons
7. Allemande, from flute partita in a minor (with mute)
8. Dvorak Humoresque
9. Brahms Waltz
10. Air, with mute and beginning with bass line
Explanation of Bach suites and importance of keys, preludes as fantasies
11. Prelude in E-flat
12. Allemande in d minor (with mute)
13. Gigue in d minor (with mute)
14. Largo from violin sonata in C (with mute)
15. The Swan, transitioning directly into
16. Prelude in G (reprise)
Further conversation, chatting with neighbors who had pulled up lawn chairs in their adjacent backyards.
17. Encore for dinner guests who had just arrived: Sarabande in D (transposed to G so I didn't have to deal with thumb position)
"Thank you again for that marvelous concert this evening. It has been a long time since I felt so relieved to hear music. Having you and your cello in our back yard, under the trees and the sky, with our neighbors quietly listening, and my husband so transported, I felt the terrible ache of the world recede. Not vanish, but recede. What you are giving to people by coming to their homes to play outside is deeply generous."
Sharing student project documentation and, more recently, my own.