Tacoma’s blessed (no pun intended!) with plenty of free classical music on Sundays. This afternoon I had my choice of three terrific concerts – Brass Unlimited, an organ tour at Christ Episcopal, and the regular Sunday show at the Antique Sandwich Company. The Ruston coffee house was where I decided to go, and I arrived halfway through a two-hour chamber music concert featuring pianist Robert Jorgenson, oboist Karen Gorcue and French horn player Heather Morton.
Jorgenson has been playing the Antique’s Sunday series since 1988, he says, and he’s a natural speaker, briefly introducing each piece to the crowd relaxing over coffee in the comfy armchairs. What I missed in the first half included a Mozart horn work and a Telemann oboe concerto; the second half more than made up for it. Saint-Saens’ oboe sonata excerpt was played with pleasant tone by Gorcue, then the Hindemith horn sonata featured a capable Jorgenson on piano, though a rather dull horn part that missed the soaring melody, furious syncopation and bombastic march of the various movements.
But the final Canzonetta by Samuel Barber was a dream of sweetly sad expressiveness on oboe, elegiac in an Elgar-like fashion and very moving.
Yes, these concerts are not expected to be completely free – there’s a donation jar by the door, and it’s always good manners to spend a couple of dollars on a drink. But if you truly needed it to be free it would be, and it’s a wonderful way to warm up on a winter Sunday afternoon.
Classical Sundays run 3 p.m. every Sunday at the Antique Sandwich Company, 5102 N. Pearl St., Tacoma. Upcoming performers include Paul Twedt and piano students (Jan. 30), Suite Sounds cello trio (Feb. 6), guitar orchestra (Feb. 13) and Robert Jorgenson (Feb. 20.) 253-752-4069