'Cloudy With a Chance of Murder' Review

By Stephen DanknerSpecial to iBerkshires
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Steve Dankner, a guest classical music writer, whose preview coverage of the summer music festival season at Tanglewood and at other regional performance venues will begin in June, has sent in a musical murder-mystery book review that should be of interest to music lovers.
Gerald Elias, the brilliantly gifted violinist and mystery writer, who hails from Salt Lake City, has published the latest – the seventh - in his series of musical whodunits, "Cloudy With a Chance of Murder."
A fast-paced page-turner, the action takes place on a rustic, isolated island in the Great Salt Lake – the summer home of the Antelope Island Music Festival – where devoted listeners congregate each summer to hear world-class musical virtuosi perform great classical chamber music.
Only this summer, sub rosa jealousies and sworn vendettas are also on the program…along with Bach and Mendelssohn.
Author Elias, a Tanglewood violinist, artfully and with meticulous detail taps into his insider knowledge of summer music festival lore to set the scene for the action: how an innocent, but ‘politically incorrect' remark among musical friends and colleagues snowballs into a devastating – and deadly – chain of events. Lives and careers are in the balance, and how, due to a freak, catastrophic summer hailstorm, there's no escape for the musicians and festivalgoers to exit the devastated festival grounds. The deranged murderer, too, is stranded, and given the opportunity, he'll attempt to kill again; no one is safe!
Only Elias could paint such a picture with classical music as its backdrop. The prescient, all-knowing yet blind violinist/mentor/detective hero, Daniel Jacobus joins with and enables his young protégé, the brilliant violinist
virtuoso Yumi Shinegawa in uncovering the tale's twists and turns, taking the reader on an exhilarating musical ride: an Allegro con brio to the end, where all the pieces of this intricate musical puzzle come together, culminating in a final, climactic presto delirioso. Most highly recommended.

Tags: books,   classical music,   mystery,   

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The 2022 Summer Music Festival Season Begins

By Stephen DanknerGuest Column
The summer concert season is upon us, and how lucky are we music lovers to be living right here, in the Berkshires, at what can only be described as “Music Heaven!”
With performances easily accessible nearby, via a short, pleasant drive, within our contiguous two-state region, concertgoers will have a wide selection of music in a multiplicity of styles to enjoy in venues grand (Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass) or intimate (Taconic Music in southwestern Vermont and Marlboro Music to the east near Brattleboro).
Scanning the upcoming offerings of these and also several other important venues in the region, it looks to be an especially exciting and brilliant summer season of outstanding music making.


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