It’s apropos that internet ser-
Garth Newel Music Center
vice can be spotty in the county, as my husband, Tom, and I felt we had connected to something larger once we crossed the mountain and drove State Route 220 through Hot Springs — home of the Omni Homestead Resort & Spa. We settled in at Garth Newel for our Friday evening concert by the commonwealth’s only yearround music center with a resident piano quartet.
The music A quartet member provides insights into each piece. Fang, for example, explained Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 26, by pointing out “the first movement’s sounds of graceful mobility” followed by the care-
MAGIC IN THE WOODS
free “Poco adagio” and the “heart and soul of the piece” in “Scherzo: Poco allegro,” where Brahms “probes the an-
Virginia’s Garth Newel Music Center hits the high notes / By Martha Steger
Garth Newel Piano Quartet
guish of his life, though there’s a redemptive mood at the end when the violin and cello play alternately and then triumphantly together.”
Sound companions Dinner (an optional addition to reservations) follows, with the staff’s precision movement of tables following Friday and Saturday
Garth Newel Music Center resident artist Jeannette Fang’s hands and feet flew up and down off piano keys and pedals in the quartet’s rendition of Astor Piazzolla’s “Primavera Portena (Spring)” from The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Violinist Teresa Ling, violist Evelyn Grau and cellist Isaac Melamed played in perfect time and tune with the piano dynamo.
evening concerts. Staying for dinner is a “must.” Resident chef Josh Elliott turns the former horse ring into a gourmet venue in which performing quartet members join guests at the round tables for conversations.
Accommodations Spacious, comfortable rooms in Garth Newel’s Manor House (garthnewel.org) can sleep a party of 18 or offer an intimate setting for a couple (one accessible room available). The Giles Cottage
The dynamism of the Garth Newel Piano
and Green Room Apartment provides additional
Quartet is well hidden among the 114 partially
rooms. Reservations/information: 540-839-5018,
tains, where the four artists-in-residence play all year — not only “off the wood” of the former horse barn in which they perform, but off their instruments’ wood. The result, for those of us listening, is nothing short of a nourishing, warm experience outside of the village of Warm Springs — a corner of Bath County whose entire county population numbers under 5,000. Save the
garthnewel.org; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT GARTH NEWEL Owners William and Christine Kendall gave the estate its name in the 1920s from a Welsh phrase that translates as “new hearth” or “new home.” garthnewel.org
Bath County offers activities ranging from tea at the Homestead to a massage at Warm Spirit Spa, discoverbath.com.
Insider’s Tip Enjoy browsing the manor house’s mahoganylined bookshelves in the library — and strolling the center’s grounds and hiking trails.
April 13, April 27, May 18 (“pay-as-you-wish”), May 19 (free), and May 24-May 26. Spring season guest performances include light refreshments afterward to encourage the meeting and mingling of artists and guests.
Joanne DiBona Photography
wooded acres in Virginia’s Allegheny Moun-
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