Youths pause road trip to attend Bach Fest (Video)

June 8, 2012 at 1:08 a.m.
Updated June 9, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.

Cellist Barbara George plays "Passacaglia in G minor," Johan Halvorsen's variation of a composition by George Frideric Handel.

Cellist Barbara George plays "Passacaglia in G minor," Johan Halvorsen's variation of a composition by George Frideric Handel.   Todd Krainin for The Victoria Advocate

Before the performers poured themselves into their instruments, Michelle Schumann told the audience it was about to experience something incredible.

"Watch these musicians just be at the limits of what they can do," she said.

That's just what brothers Ben and Zack Robinson were hoping to see after a more than 1,000-mile road trip to Victoria from Jackson, Mich. The brothers are visiting their dad, who's working on a pipeline in the area. They quickly heard of the Victoria Bach Festival and figured it would be a perfect addition to their monthlong roadtrip across the United States.

So the 19- and 21-year-olds stopped by the "Virtuosi!" concert Friday afternoon at First United Methodist Church.

The concert featured three pieces played by Corinne Stillwell on the violin, Barbara George on the cello and Schumann on the piano.

"Every variation adds more and more intensity," Schumann prepped the audience.

The first piece kicked off with the cello and violin answering each other in low and high pitches.

In the second, the piano and violin swept through three movements, together experiencing the decrescendos between enormous climaxes.

The final piece, a sonata for cello and piano, burst with thunderous intensity before soothing its audience into a finale punctuated by one last virtuoso ride.

At the end of each piece, the audience seemed almost thrust from their seats into a standing ovation.

"When they just stopped all of a sudden, it's got to feel great - just stopping and absorbing it all for a moment," Ben said.

The brothers are into the blues and classic rock music, but probably unlike most of the older crowd around them, they discovered they liked classical music through the Internet.

"We were really getting more and more into music, trying to find better and better, more in-depth stuff," Zack said. "It eventually led us to classical."

They said they ran the gamut of emotions from excitement to calm and almost sleepy from the soothing tones.

This was the first concert of its type the brothers said they've been to. It's another story to tell when they return home in July after another pit stop at Area 51.

Ben said the free concert on Friday was more appealing to their road-trip budget than paying to see a famous or mainstream artist.

"This whole free thing is great because that means it's for everybody. You automatically break the limits of money. It's no problem," he said.



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