Of the roughly 20 pieces he turned up, Stickney said, he’s partial to the three meal-time polkas composed for the Crawford House, because the composer, Patrick Gilmore, was prominent at the time and the music is simply fun. That was evident, he said, when the piano and clarinet duets he arranged based on the music were performed last week at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
“The genuine glee on these people’s faces was unreal,” he said. “It was kind of surprising, in a good way.”
Clarinetist Matthew Marsit said he appreciated the opportunity to play styles of music such as polkas and waltzes that have faded away.
“It was obvious they were crafted originally with someone with skill writing for instruments,” he said. “They brought forward a little bit of playful challenge, and Mark just set them beautifully. It really allowed for a lot of musical conversation between me and (Constance Chesebrough) on piano.”
Marsit and Chesebrough performed before and after a panel discussion about the grand hotels, against the backdrop of an “Art of the White Mountains” exhibit at the Boston museum. And while the focus was on the past, Amidon said, the goal also was to get audience members thinking about their future travel.
“People now don’t necessarily plan a year in advance, but here it is June. Hopefully this is a good time for people to think about coming up,” she said.