2021 was a difficult year. But as dark as things seem, we always have music.
Here in Westport, we’re particularly lucky. We have the Staples High School music department. Each year, they give us a gift: the Candlelight Concert.
This year — the 81st — was particularly welcome.
Despite the challenges — including Omicron and mask mandates — the concert was astonishing. It might be the best ever.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch the combined instrumental and orchestral version of Beethoven’s Fantasie for Piano, Choir and Orchestra Op. 80 for yourself.
Starting slowly, then building to a stunning crescendo, it features senior Sasha Maskoff’s remarkable piano solo.
Vocal soloists include Sophia Betit, Shanti Wimmer, Jackiei Peterson, Sydney Gusick, Emily Desser Lauranne De Vos, Samuel Betit, Peter Macris, James Dobin-Smith, Zach Berman, Jeffrey Pogue and Ryan Porio.
Seven days from the end of a terrible year, these 12 minutes will convince you that this is — still — a very beautiful world.
(Kudos to Jim Honeycutt, who taped and produced this video.)