miller - rowe consort
a review in
the "Post and Courier" of Charleston, S. C., Friday, June 6, 1997
FRETWORK PROGRAM OUTSTANDING
by MARY S. SOLOMON,  reviewer
 
    The Miller-Rowe Consort attracted a large crowd at St. Johannes Lutheran Church as the featured entertainment for Thursday night's Fretwork Concert Series at Piccolo.
    Their unique brand of music draws from many musical styles, ranging from Early American and Celtic, to classical and sacred, and on to original songs.
    The Consort (Michael Miller on classical guitar and David Rowe on hammer dulcimer) has been performing together since 1991.
    The tonal combinations and rich textures of the instruments, popular in Colonial America, unfolded magnificently in the acoustics of the church. The intimacy of St. Johannes Church was perfect for this program.
    The Consort opened its program with "Kemp's Jig," an English number, and continued with their arrangement of "Ash Grove." It was their hot rendition of  "Froggie Went A'Courtin," however, that really turned on the audience. The fingers of the performers really flew over the strings on this one.
    Two Celtic pieces, "Irish Washerwoman" and a haunting arrangement of "Greensleeves," were also crowd pleasers. "Wildwood Flower" and the familiar "Grandfather's Clock" gave them a workout, too.
    A wonderful arrangement of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" and Bach's "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring" were chosen for the classical and sacred portion.
    Three original melodies were well-received. "After The Rain" was a favorite.
    Each composer shared one of the songs he had written from his family situation.
    Rowe gave us "Rebekah's Song," the melody of which was picked out by his 2-year-old daughter. Miller's contribution, "Ten Years Waiting," was the result of the birth of a child after many years of waiting. They were both beautiful pieces.
    Several more songs were included, one from the classical period and two Celtic tunes, but the final number, "The Old Spinning Wheel," had the audience on the edge of their seats.
    This was an excellent program of string music played by two outstanding musicians. The program was played entirely from memory and, given the nature of the instruments, probably never sounds exactly the same, as much improvisation was evident.
    A standing ovation and much applause indicated the audience was well-satisfied with what they heard.
- quoted by permission
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