We enjoyed a wide range of sensitive and thoughtful musicians, bringing insight to a wide range of music, from Bach, through Liszt, Schubert, Janacek, Debussy, Franck, Rachmaninov and Sibelius to Martin, Rojas, Tarrega, Brouwer and Albeniz. The programmes are archived here.
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.
The piano is also a subtle partner for other instruments. May 2016 moved the focus 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. Who says what is ‘serious’ music and what is not!
Veronika Shoot, a much loved regular here, brought her customary intensity, warmth and verve, 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 gently accompanied by concert pianist, Nathan Tinker. Ramon Ricker’s Jazz Sonata, then brought together modern classical and jazz.
Our December 2017 recital, four hands, brought together two firm favourites of our audience, two big personalities, concert pianists Veronika Shoot and Sasha Grynyuk in a programme of well loved pieces, 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.
Veronika also opened the recitals of 2018, this time as soloist, inspired by her own childhood and influenced by her new CD album which includes Debussy’s Children’s Corner, Schumann’s Kinderszenen and works of Takemitsu, Korngold and of her father.
Our programme for 2018 continued in equally broad range of music and styles as in previous years.
The programme included Rebeca Omordia – piano, Alicja Smietana – violin, Olga Paliy – piano and regular performer here on Cuban guitar, Ahmed Dickinson who played here this time as one of two guitars with one of his great inspirations, friend and master, famous composer for the guitar, Eduardo Martín, an exceptional combination, perfect for our intimate soundstage. This was 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.
Two recitals by An-Ting Chan and Stephen Gutman espoused complete themes for their programmes, respectively, themes of fantasy (Orlando Gibbons a personal highlight) and ‘revisionings’ for fresh perspectives – Stephen introduced: ‘Mozart transcribes his own violin Sonata. Tchaikovsky refashions a theme in six very different ways. Liszt reworks Berlioz. Debussy ‘revisions’ gamelan, the music of Andalucia and nursery rhymes in his glowing Estampes’.
As usual the year ended with a programme from Masayuki Tayama that moved from Beethoven’s Appassionata and Rachmaninov Transcriptions to pieces chosen to lighten the spirit before Christmas.
Our programme for the end of 2019 and a look into 2020 as follows:
Looking ahead, we welcome:
Sunday 8th December, 7:30pm – Poom Prommachart – piano
Chopin – 24 Preludes op. 28
Carl Vine – Sonata no.1
Babajanian – Poem for piano
Khachaturian – Vocalise
Sunday 12th January, 7:30pm – Ariana Kashefi – cello
Sunday 9th February, 7:30pm – Olga Paliy – piano
Sunday 1st March – Adam Heron – piano