11 March 2014

This one's for the piano

All Saints has a newish grand piano and this was a fundraiser by the singers and musicians of the church choir. They must be an impressive choir for they did decent work as soloists, but on instruments and on voice. This was a diverse outing; about 50-50 instrumental and vocal. Vivaldi, Franck, Haydn, Telemann, Mozart, Brahms. These were not unexpected, but perhaps the Ernesto de Curtis was. He wrote Torna a Sorrento, the magical and popular Neapolitan song. Gerard sang that with Kimberley accompanying, and I loved it, but then I can't help but love Neapolitan song. The two traditional songs by solo Alex were unexpected, too, as much folk as classical repertoire, and performed up close and personal. Alex told us one moved from folk to classical repertoire and the other vice versa. They were She moved through the fair and The three ravens, both Traditional. Then some instrumentals. Clara on cello accompanied by Kimberley on a Haydn's Piatigorsky Divertimento. This was perhaps my favourite. Light and entertaining but with considerable skills required. Cello is a wonderfully earthy instrument and Clara did it justice. Kimberley, too, on piano, was outstanding throughout. She's awarded as an accompanist and this was clear this day. Well listened and sweetly played with real character. The Telemann was performed by oboe and recorder with piano accompaniment. Typically early music suggesting dances in mediaeval stone halls: a lovely and dignified variation. I haven't mentioned vocal numbers and this is the choir. Perhaps outstanding for me was Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, but it's a favourite in our house. Rachel displayed a powerful lyric soprano voice on Handel's Piangeró la sorte mia, Julio Cesare. Nice to hear some English lyrics in Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Oh rest in the Lord. The Brahms was voice with viola and piano for a more orchestral and modern conception. Frank's Panic angelicus. La Gallienne's Farewell thou art too dear for my possessing featured Gerard, a male voice, and Tristan also harmonised with Lou on Franck's Panis Angelicus. And the lengthier Mozart's Exultate, Jubilate ended with Gemma's soprano in Latin. Alleluia. This was a varied program. Joyful, informative with introductions and rich in styles and varied tonalities. Thanks and congrats to what must be a very satisfying choral gathering.

The varied program was performed at All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie, by Kimberley Steel (piano), Gemma Dashwood (soprano, piano), Lauren Davis (viola), Clara Teniswood (cello), Caroline Fargher (oboe), Ann Neville (recorder), Alex Maroya (baritone), Gerard Clifton (baritone), Louise Merrington (mezzo-soprano), Tristan Foon (baritone), Rachel McGrath-Kerr (soprano) and Catriona Bryce (contralto).

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