Pine Avenue has been receiving a lot of local attention as the Pine Avenue Development Group has brought new businesses to this main street of Anna Maria City. Although the businesses are new, the intention of the developers is to preserve the feeling of Old Florida as well as the integrity of the business district, which was at risk of being converted to newly constructed rental housing units.
Meanwhile, there are a few places on Pine Avenue that are truly historical, and most obvious is Roser Memorial Community Church. Now celebrating its 100th year, this beautiful institution continues to serve the community in ways that reach beyond denominations and even beyond church affiliation of any kind.
Music being presented at the church in this season’s concert series is sublime, regardless of one’s beliefs. The first performance, on January 20, featured pianist Davide Cabassi, a finalist in the 2005 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. A fine Steinway concert grand piano was rented by the church and, in its elevated position, could be easily seen by the audience, which filled all the pews. The acoustics were impressive.
Mr. Cabassi opened his program with Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331. A long first movement of a lyrical theme and variations introduced the audience to the brilliant sound of an excellent instrument, as well as to the performer’s expertise. The audience displayed its own expertise as listeners, by not applauding after the first movement, as uneducated audiences have been known to do even in places supposedly much more sophisticated than Anna Maria. After another gentle movement, a Menuetto, the intensity finally started to pick up in the third movement, Allegretto, “Alla Turca.”