2016/17 has seen a wide range of intense and thoughtful musicians, with music ranging from Bach, through Liszt, Schubert, Janacek, Debussy, Franck, Rachmaninov and Sibelius to Martin, Rojas, Tarrega, Brouwer and Albeniz.
Joseph Tong gave us a thoughtful evening of music composed around the age of our grand piano, with atmospheric pieces by Debussy conjuring ideas of the time of China with gamelan like notes, the palaces and gardens of Granada and gardens in the rain, and Sibelius’ pieces known as the Trees, informed by his performance of Sibelius’ piano pieces and piano transcriptions in Sibelius’ own home and on Sibelius’ own piano. His first Sibelius recording is available on CD now.
May 2016 moved the focus from the piano to clarinet, reeds and piano in sensitive and equal partnership and from established classical repertoire to pieces that have become new classics, also open to rich and diverse interpretation through the insightful musicianship of Alan Barnes, clarinet/saxophone and David Newton, piano – a duo of one of the leading clarinetists and saxophonists in the world and a pianist voted ‘Best Jazz Pianist’ in the British Jazz Awards for the thirteenth time in 2014. They performed the music of Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern from The Wizard of Oz and Showboat in a recital that was variously joyous, humorous and revelatory.
Veronika Shoot returned, bringing her customary intensity and verve and then showing her Russian soul in Rachmaninov’s second Sonata; like Vladimir Horowitz, Veronika drew on both the early composition and Rachmaninov’s much later revision to play the sonata in a form close to Horowitz’s.
Bach, Elgar and Debussy were performed, transcribed for classical harmonica, by Philip Achille, classically trained from a young age by one of the great masters of harmonica, and sensitively accompanied by concert pianist, Nathan Tinker. Ramon Ricker’s Jazz Sonata, then brought together modern classical and jazz.
Our December 2017 recital, four hands, brings together two firm favourites of our audience, concert pianists Veronika Shoot and Sasha Grynyuk in a programme of well loved favourites, Schubert’s Fantasie, Barber and Mozart to round off the year with the intense and subtle musicality to be expected of them, joyously delivered and with an irrepressible sense of fun. It will be interesting to see two such big personalities sharing the one piano – and any ‘encores’!
For 2018, the first recital of the year will take place on Sunday, 7 January with Veronika Shoot, this time solo at the piano, opening the year with a programme influenced by her new CD album to be issued shortly which includes Debussy’s Children’s Corner, Schumann’s Kinderszenen and works of Takemitsu, Korngold and of her father. Veronika says “it is all inspired by childhood and very special – I can vouch for an exciting and beautiful programme”.
Our programme for the rest of the first 6 months of 2018 will be announced here shortly. It already includes Rebeca Omordia – piano, Alicja Smietana – violin, Olga Paliy – piano and regular performer here on Cuban guitar, Ahmed Dickinson who hopes to be playing here this time as one of two guitars with one of his great inspirations, famous composer for the guitar, Eduardo Martín, an exceptional combination, perfect for our soundstage and rich in meaning for Barny and Julia who were married in St Peter’s Church to guitar music from Martin’s Canciones de Calendario, played by Osamu Yano.