Saturday 11th October 2014
Review of concert by Paul Roberts - piano
Olé! Un grand tour de force.
Saturday saw the new season off to a good start. An enthusiastic audience at Dr Challoner's High School, Little Chalfont, was entertained to a special evening of the sounds of Spain in piano music written by early 20c. French and Spanish composers.
Saturday 8th November 2014
The Dante String Quartet
Review of recital by Krysia Osostowitz and Oscar Perks violins, Yuko Inoue Viola and Richard Jenkinson Cello
The programme started with a Haydn quartet called (not by the composer) "The Lark" and catalogued as Op.64 No.5, it is significant as this was written for a performance in London. Haydn after years of service for Prince Esterhazy was starting to travel!
The second work was the String Quartet No.2 by Kodaly, composed between 1916 and 1918. With Bartok he had spent many years collecting folk songs and although he does not quote them directly their influence can be felt.
The concert ended with a major work by Schubert, the quartet in D minor D810 "Death and the Maiden." Oscar Perks, the second violin, explained that the second movement is based on the Schubert song of that name but that we should not feel horror at the thought of "the Grim Reaper" and the girl - that the situation is more of relaxation and release. I was not convinced!
The Amersham Concert Club has tried several times to present this outstanding Quartet and at last we have succeeded.
Saturday 7th February 2015
Martyn Jackson and Alison Rhind
Review of concert by Martyn Jackson - violin, accompanied by Alison Rhind - piano
Amersham Concert Club had a real treat on Saturday evening with a recital by a talented young violinist, Martyn Jackson, accompanied by Alison Rhind. Alison is much sought after as an accompanist and it was our good fortune that she was free to take the place of the scheduled pianist who was ill.
Martyn and Alison's programme covered a wide range of feelings from the romance of Elgar's Violin Sonata in E minor to the drama of Bartok's Romanian Folk Dances. In Debussy's Violin Sonata in G minor the composer shows, at the end of his life, great originality and mastery of this musical form.
The concert opened with the rarely-heard Sonata in G by Mozart, an amazing piece in which the instrumental roles are notably independent though the piano enjoys prominence. The concert concluded with a thrilling performance of the virtuosic Etude by Ysaye, based on a piece by Saint-Saens that admirably showed off Martyn's talent to the full.
Saturday 7th March 2015
Review of concert by Sarah Atter ~ Flute, Thomas Verity ~ Clarinet, Lauren Hibberd ~ Piano
An enthusiastic audience at Amersham Concert Club's recital on 7th March was treated to a most enjoyable evening of music by the Sterling Trio. Sarah Atter (flute), Thomas Verity (clarinet) and Lauren Hibberd (piano) are passionate about their unusual combination of instruments and this came across to the audience very clearly throughout the evening. Much of their programme was unfamiliar to the audience but members of the Trio introduced each piece beautifully. Starting with a delightful piece by Cavallini, "Reverie Russe", the evening progressed through the Trio's own transcription of a Bach Trio Sonata with a bass clarinet taking the cello part - the first time this instrument has been heard in the Club's history. The first half finished with a piece by Guillaume Connesson called "Techno-Parade". Written in 2002, this was described as a 21st century take on the folk / classical fusion music of the early 20th century. Another first for the Club, this piece which included brushing the piano strings and flutter-tonguing from the flautist, was warmly received by the audience.
The second half began with a lovely performance of Sir Henry Bishop's 19th century aria "Lo, Here the Gentle Lark" before moving on to three modern pieces, including "Pennillion" by Sir Howard Blake, best known for composing the music to the film "The Snowman". Throughout this varied and very well-structured programme, the two woodwind instruments combined wonderfully, whilst Lauren Hibberd brought a lovely delicacy to her piano part but maintained a strong underlying structure to the music. The communication and understanding shown by all three musicians was most impressive. As an encore, after the humour and liveliness of Sir Malcolm Arnold's "Grand Fantasia", we heard another beautifully quiet piece, "Archangel's Lullaby" by Howard Blake.
Many of the audience commented on how much they had enjoyed the evening and the opportunity to hear new works performed so ably.
The Club's season ends on 28th March with a lecture recital on Mozart and his Contemporaries, by the very popular pianist, singer and speaker, Peter Medhurst when details of the Club's 49th season, starting in October, will also be available. Tickets are available by visiting the programme page www.amershamconcerts.org.uk/prog.htm or 01494 765 420.