Brad Pitt’s latest movie, Killing Them Softly, is an R-rated crime comedy-drama. It didn’t do very well in this weekend’s opening. What a mish-mash: crime, comedy and drama. You wouldn’t know whether, or when, to laugh or cry… or hide your face in your coat.
How about a concert? That’s what a lot of Strengelbachers did on Sunday. They filled the local city church and enjoyed every moment.
The concert in the Strengelbach Ref. Church was a surprise – the Musikgesellschaft is a band, not an orchestra. No strings, just brass and woodwinds and percussion. The musicians were all ages – from about 13 to ???.
The first piece was “Ave Stella Maris” by Edvard Grieg. I’m sure it would have benefited from being played by a full orchestra – you have to have some strings to evoke the sea.
The clarinet soloist was Peter Lanz, a local kid who reminded me of my grandson, Josh. As usual, I’m getting only about 1 in 4 words for simple speeches (1 in 10 for the tougher ones), but I did get that he has studied 5.5 years, either since he was 16, or up until now, when he IS 16.
He was very serious, but with a quiet grin when he finished. He was better than accurate, playing the music in smoothly flowing sentences of varying tempos. The music was “Concertino op. 26” by Carl Maria von Weber.
The audience applauded mightily, so the conductor did an encore with the best movement for the soloist. Another encore we got was from “Auf der Jagd,” On the Hunt, a fast polka by Johann Strauss. Strauss was clearly superior in musical skills to the other composers we heard.
My super favorite piece was one I’d never heard of — “Die Felsenmuehle,” The Mill on the Cliff, by Carl Gottlob Reissiger. I’ve never heard of him, either. The music was glorious.
Another one, “When you believe,” by Schwartz & Edmonds sounded like the end of a soundtrack for a heartwarming movie about life on the Midwestern US Prairie in the 1880s, when credits are running. Certainly not Killing Them Softly.
The last number was US – the audience. We sang a Christmas song. I knew the melody, but can’t remember the words in English.
The Christmas Bazaar, held OUTSIDE across the street from the church, was fun, too. Three donkeys for kids to ride, about 20 booths run by local charities and/or businesses – candles, hats, house decorations, wurst to roast over an open fire in the center of the tiny square and hot spiced wine.
Killing Them Softly was a 20 min train ride to the nearest cinema. Strengelback was a 20 min walk through the snow to the church.