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Chaconnes à son goût

Enjoy a trip to pre-war Paris at the Musicians of Ma’alwyck gala dinner

by B.A. Nilsson on May 1, 2014


The good news: Registration has been extended until today (Thursday), so pick up that phone. Bad news: Stravinsky and Picasso and Prokofiev and Milhaud and Hemingway and Fitzgerald won’t be there. Well; you never know about Stravinsky.

It’s the annual fundraising dinner and dance for and with Musicians of Ma’alwyck. The event takes place from 5 to 9 PM Friday, May 4, at the Old Daley Inn at Crooked Lake, which is a gorgeous venue that boasts excellent food service as well.

Musicians of Ma'alwyck

The theme takes us back to Paris in the 1920s and ‘30s, a time when the world’s most creative composers and artists and writers were gathered in that city and changing the world. According to the group’s artistic director, violinist Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, “Pre-World-War-Two Paris was an incredibly rich time and place, when so many of the world’s most important composers and artists and writers were gathered in one place and dance was so popular. We did this theme last year and asked our supporters what they’d like to see this time. They all voted to have us do it again.”

It’s their fourth year hosting the event at this site, “and the Old Daley Inn caterers do an excellent job here.” And there’s plenty of room for dancing. As you take to the floor, you’ll be among professional dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Latham.

And you’ll be enjoying live music that captures the spirit of the era. “We’ll be performing songs by Charles Trenet, selections from the ‘Seven Popular Spanish Songs’ by Manuel de Falla, some pieces by Django Reinhardt, and even a song by Rudolf Friml called ‘L’Amour, toujours l’amour.’”

Of course, not everyone (and I speak from experience) is courageous enough to try the old buck-and-wing in front of a convocation of skilled dancers. Not to worry, says Barker Schwartz. “If you don’t want to dance, there will be tons of food, there’s a silent auction and there even will be a live auction that includes tickets to SPAC, Tanglewood and the Boston Early Music Festival, a couple of vacation options, many fine CDs and even a dinner date with the Metroland food critic.” About which I need say no more.

Dinner includes wine and a custom beer by brewmaster George de Piro. Entrée choices include bistro steak, salmon with basil cream, chicken piccata and a vegetable Napoleon with boursin. Choose your entrée when you buy your ticket–they’re $130 apiece–at the ensemble’s website: musiciansofmaalwyck.org/tickets/.