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An amateur duo offers a unique way to begin Valentine’s Day weekend

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Yesterday I was contacted by a chamber music duo too unique to go without mention. The members are pianist Viva Knight and oboist Ted Rust, and they perform under the name Dolci. Their home page emphasizes that they selected this name not strictly for its connotations of sweetness but because it serves to identify the final course of an Italian meal. Both performers are in their seventies; and they view the recitals they now give as “the after-careers dessert course (dolci) of their lives.”

Since the very words you are currently reading are the product of a “retirement gig,” I am more than enthusiastic about the refocused commitment of their “after-careers” life. That commitment is realized through weekly performances at the San Francisco Aquatic Park Center on Fridays at 1 p.m. between the months of September and March. This venue is located right next to Ghirardelli Square, and it offers a beautiful view of San Francisco Bay. Those curious about the technical seriousness of the performers’’ commitment are welcome to check out their YouTube channel, which currently has sixteen videos recorded over the last two years covering composers ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach to Elliott Carter.

Six concerts remain in the current Dolci “season.” Here are the dates and selections take from their Future Dolci Concerts Web page:

February 14 Classical and Popular Love Songs
February 21 Grandval Prelude & Waltz, Andriessen Haydn Variations, Bozza Divertissement
February 28 Rimsky-Korsakov Glinka Variations, J. S. Bach Sonata
March 7 Poulenc, Beethoven Trios (Cynthia Hanson, bassoon)
March 14 Wilder Sonata, Friedman Reflections
March 21 Vivaldi Concerto, Telemann Partita #5

Readers will note that this Friday’s concert will have a specific Valentine’s Day theme. This should make for a unique and engaging after-lunch dessert course.

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