The Grand County Concert Series raised the bar as high as the Continental Divide with the performance of The Lincoln Trio last Friday night at the first installment of the 2013 concert series at The Church of the Eternal Hills.
The trio's musicians - violinist Desiree Ruhstrat, cellist David Cunliffe, and pianist Marta Aznavoorian - left the audience awestruck.
The responses of the audience was, "Whew, shew, and wow." No one could express the right words to describe their talent.
The concert opened with Beethoven's Opus 11. The second piece was in two parts by modern day composer Jennifer Higdon. Titled Pale Yellow and Fiery Red, the pieces were written by the composer as an experiment.
"Can music reflect color and can color reflect music?" was her quest conveyed by Cunliffe. The Fiery Red piece brought the audience to their feet.
The last piece was by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana - Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15. A roller coaster of emotions was expressed by Smetana in composing this piece after his daughter died of scarlet fever.
Although composed in 1855, the piece sounded modern and electric, always moving and changing tempo.
The Grand County concert was the last stop of the Trio's tour from the San Francisco and Los Angeles area before returning home to Chicago.
The Trio is an ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago. With a resume such as theirs - Ruhstrat has performed at the White House, Cunliffe has performed with the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestras, Aznavoorian has performed at The Kennedy Center and The Sydney Opera House and all three have toured Europe and America - it was a treat to have them perform here.
As much as the audience was impressed with their music, the Trio was impressed with the beauty of Grand County.
"The most beautiful venue we have played," Cunliffe said.
"I personally love smaller venues," Aznavoorian said. "You can hear the responses of the audience. You can hear them gasping."
The Trio had an extra day staying in Fraser and were so impressed with the area, Cunliffe and Ruhstrat - husband and wife - made a stop at the realtor office to see what was for sale.
"I am so relaxed," Cunliffe told his wife.
We can only hope they will return - with their instruments.
The concert series continues on Friday, Feb. 15, with the Italian Saxophone Quartet. Log on to www.Grand-CountyConcertSeries.org for more information.