#1046 Salut Salon salts a classical quartet with the spice of fun

Photo of Salut Salon from their Facebook page

Photo of Salut Salon from their Facebook page

My love affair with classical music began when I picked up a bow and started scraping it unmusically across the strings of a violin. In spite of my screeching renditions of simple pieces, I could hear the stories embedded in the notes. My mind would hear a waterfall, see deer bounding through the forest, pick up a tea cup at a garden party, slip into pirate gear and sail through a storm. When I listened to classical music played by a professional orchestra or a local, amateur symphony, I was lost in another world.

But how can young people today, immersed in a world heady with distractions, be seduced by music? Part of the answer lies in a quartet called Salut Salon. I learned of them through a link to their performance of “Wettstreit zu viert” (“Competitive Foursome”). Their antics were hilarious. It is no wonder the video has been viewed more than 9 million times.

Comedic nonsense is, of course, only a small part of what they do. They are highly talented musicians who bring irresistible passion to their performances. But along with their virtuosity comes a healthy dose of fun. It shines through their videos and must be sheer magic in a live performance.

By taking their music seriously but adding creativity and joy to their performances, Angelika Bachmann, Iris Siegfried, Anne-Monika von Twardowski, and Sonja Lena Schmid attract people who might shy away from the stuffy formality of most classical quartets.

They give me hope for the future of fine music.

You can follow Salut Salon on YouTube and Facebook.

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#1037 WWII vet plays hooky from his nursing home to commemorate D-Day

Bernard Jordan

Bernard Jordan returning home from his adventure; photo from Euronews video below

He pinned on his medals, pulled on a raincoat, and headed out the door of The Pines nursing home in Hove, East Sussex. Nothing was going to keep Bernard Jordan from attending the D-Day commemorations in Normandy.

The BBC reported that nursing home staff had tried to secure a place for him on a tour organized by the Royal British Legion. Unfortunately, the tour was fully booked. Rather than miss the ceremonies, Jordan set out on his own.

He overlooked one thing – to tell staff in the Brighton and Hove nursing home he was not planning to come back from his daily jaunt. When he failed to return, the police went on the hunt. They discovered he had taken the train to Portsmouth, where he connected with veterans on their way to France. After Jordan spoke with the nursing home, they stopped worrying about the independent senior, whose wife also lives in the home but was not with him on his jaunt.

The 89-year-old veteran was a hit with everyone he met. He made it to the ceremonies and then took the overnight ferry back home. His cheerful personality won the hearts of the staff of Brittany Ferries, who offered him “free travel to the Normandy beaches for the rest of his life.”

The story has gone viral. What strikes me is what it reveals about stereotypes of aging. Bernard Jordan is bright and able to get around just fine. D-Day was important to him, and he was fit enough to make the trip. He plans to repeat the journey again in 2015, when he will be 90.

Mr. Jordan is free to come and go, like anyone else. That he still does so gives me hope.

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