Reprinted from yesterday's late edition
It rained on Jean-Pierre Rampal's parade Sunday night at Wolf Trap, but very few of the more than 5,000 faithful who had come to hear him let it drive them away.
At 8:40, right after the first movement of the E Minor Trio Sonata by Bach, came the cloudburst. As the famous musician stood there looking perplexed amid the noise of the downpour, a brave man, typical of the thousands getting soaked on the grass, shouted into the shed, "Play on!" With a happy smile, Rampal and his harpsichordist-pianist associate, John Steele Ritter, did just that.
Immediately, following a sonata by Tartini, he had asked the page turner to bring out his other gold flute because the high humidity made it safer for him to switch from one instrument to another. And so it was that when intermission came, Rampal walked offstage carrying not one but two gold flutes.
The intermittent showers throughout the rest of the evening did not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the audience, which burst into applause during the opening measures of the Bolling suite for flute and jazz piano with which the concert closed. In this Rampal and Ritter were joined by Frank Toperzer on drums and Keith Hodgson, bass. It's not much as jazz, but as a reminder of the sweet pop style of a generation ago it's a ball.