Posts Tagged ‘violin’

Review: Robbie Stern (violin) and Philippa Naylor (piano) at the Hayward Theatre in Ely On Friday 11th November 2011 for The King’s School Ely’s nineteenth season

November 16, 2011

Review: Robbie Stern (violin) and Philippa Naylor (piano) at the Hayward Theatre in Ely On Friday 11th November 2011 for The King’s School Ely’s nineteenth season

Robbie Stern (violin) and Philippa Naylor (piano) captured the hearts and minds of the audience in the Hayward Theatre, Ely on Friday night. The regular supporters of the King’s School Ely Concert Society series have come expect an event of the highest quality and they were not disappointed.

Robbie and Philippa, two students in their final year at Cambridge University, knew their stuff. Robbie demonstrated an assured command of his instrument. No matter which techniques the pieces demanded, he executed them effectively every time. Philippa also displayed a tremendous technique and shaped her contributions expertly to match Robbie’s well.

The programme consisted of pieces that were Robbie’s favourites and the decision to include such demanding compositions for performers and listeners certainly paid off. The instrumentalists’ empathy with the composers’ intentions made their playing credible and captivating.

Such was the homely atmosphere that these concerts have come to engender, the audience was more than happy to wait a little before the concert began so that Robbie’s parents had a chance to get to the concert hall from Ely station.

Robbie chose to open the concert with a charming movement from J S Bach’s PartitA No.1 in B minor for solo violin: Allemande – double. It became immediately apparent that Robbie has a most endearing capacity for bringing out the musicality of a piece while at the same time maintaining a sense of tension and restraint that creates that special bond between composer, performer and audience.

Philippa then joined Robbie on stage and they performed Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major by Maurice Ravel. Robbie introduced the item and mentioned how Ravel had said he believed the violin and the piano had little in common and could never enjoy complete equilibrium. This piece certainly displayed this attitude by the composer. However, just as I have difficulty in accepting Ravel’s apparent boast that he could describe anything in music – even a chair, it is difficult to accept that these two instruments were entirely incompatible. Whatever the intension of the composer, these skilled performers did have rapport, their music although seemingly ‘at odds’ at one level, was nevertheless cohesive with effective communication and understanding between the instruments. The opening Allegro contained moments of mutual understanding, effective dialogue and intriguing juxtapositions that nevertheless ‘matched’.

The second movement reflected the kind of blues music Ravel probably heard in the streets of Paris. …

The concert ended with another challenge for the performers: Serge Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano no. 2 in D, Op. 94. This work offered Prokofiev’s attractive melodies and classical structures and these made the unusual intervals of his day all the more acceptable to the unaccustomed ear. The first movement, Moderato, had a most tuneful opening, and Robbie’s exquisite restraint was again particularly noticeable.  The second movement, the traditional Scherzo, was indeed playful and jolly at times, the third movement, Andante, created an overall sense of suspended quiet and calmness with occasional more thrilling developments. The fourth movement, Allegro con brio, opened with a flourish and the piece certainly added fiery liveliness to the proceedings.  In this movement the amazing technique of the performers was particularly apparent. The potency and strength of Rebecca was never in any doubt even though she performed as ‘accompanist’ throughout the evening. As expected, Robbie rose to the occasion and filled the hall with sounds of dramatic intensity, providing an admirable ending to this most enjoyable concert.

Forthcoming events:

Wednesday 16th to Friday 17th November King’s Company Play ‘Improbable Fiction’ by Alan Ayckbourn 7.30 in the Hayward Theatre admission free

Sunday 20th November ‘Christ the King’ Choral Concert King’s Chapel Choir, Prime Brass and Jonathan Lilley (organist) 8 p.m. Ely Cathedral

Thursday 24th November Lunchtime Live Concert 1.10 Ely Cathedral

Friday 2nd December, King’s Charity Concert 7.30 p.m. Hayward Theatre

Friday 20th January King’s Ely Concert Society, Richard Uttley (piano) 7.30 Recital Hall

Thursday 26th January lunchtime Live Concert 1.10 St. Mary’s Church Admission free

Contact: Lisa Bushell at King’s Ely Music School (01353 653931) email: boxoffice@kings-ely.cambs.sch.uk

http://www.localsecrets.com (for the entire review)

Rosemary Westwell

Advertisements

Review: Mediterranea Trio for the King’s School Ely Concert Society in the Hayward Theatre, Ely.

March 16, 2011

The Mediterranea Trio had the audience spellbound when they demonstrated their amazing technique and cohesion in the Hayward Theatre on the 11th March 2011. Elenlucia Pappalardo (piano), Markella Vandoros (violin) and Alessandro Sanguineti (cello) combined perfectly, playing as one. Their concert included mammoth works that explored a wide range of styles and expressions.

Schubert’s Piano Trio no.2 in E flat major, D.929 opened the programme. In these four varied movements, the three players definitely added a Mediterranean flavour to their performance as they fully expressed the emotive and lyrical potency of Schubert’s themes. Cascading runs and broken chords in the piano and beautifully entwined violin and cello episodes captured our attention immediately. The playful Scherzo and its subsequent changes of mood and the intriguing stuttering theme in the final movement were also exquisitely executed.

Shostakovich’s Piano Trio no.2 in E minor, op. 67 that followed provided a contrast. In this work we were transported to the sparse countryside of Russia. Intriguing use of harmonics in the cello helped create an eerie sense of emptiness and loss associated with the souls of the missing people from the atrocities of the Second World War. This desolation branched into long episodes that were demonic, macabre or pervaded with haunting gypsy refrains. Not a moment was lost. Every nuance of expression and emotion was wrenched from the notes by these amazing musicians.

This delightful concert ended with Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. This work demonstrated without a doubt that these players ‘have it’. Some musicians, no matter how practiced they are, can create music that is note perfect and rhythmically exact but that never quite touches the soul of the music. However, these wonderful performers exuded natural Latin rhythmic ‘know how’ to fascinating effect. Their amazing technical agility, their expressive intensity and their empathy with the style was always permeated with an infectious Tango rhythmic pulse.

This was indeed a wonderful event.

The next concert in the King’s School Ely Concert Series will be on the 13th of May in the Recital Hall at 7.30 pm featuring Catriona Clark (soprano), Daniel Howard (baritone) and Oliver Hancock (piano).

Contacts:

www.mediterraneatrio.com

mediterraneatrio@gmail.com

(for tickets and information about King’s School events) Lisa Bushell, Performing Arts Administrator, (01353 653931) email: boxoffice@kings-ely.cambs.sch.uk