Fancy Tunes delight in Yell

Musicians from the Yell-based Fancy Tunes ensemble presented a spring concert in St Colman’s Church in Burravoe last Friday before an appreciative audience of classical music enthusiasts. It was a charity event with all proceeds going to the CLAN 1,2,3 appeal.

The recital began with two of Handel’s best known works, both performed by Tara Payne on violin with piano accompaniment by Meilo So. In Largo from Xerxes Tara displayed a mature composure, allowing the rich melody to cloak the exposure of the violin, while in the lighter and more technically demanding Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon, her more insouciant delivery provided the lustre such a piece requires.

The evening’s only single instrument recital was Meilo’s interpretation of Rondo in A Minor by Mozart. At over eight minutes long, this reflective, almost melancholic study of the form drew a hushed audience deep into a world of wistful contemplation. The playing was thoughtful and intelligent as if trying to gain an insight into the composer’s intention, with the intricate digressions always sensitively brought back to the haunting refrain.

In the second movement from Trumpet Concerto by Joseph Haydn, Alison Dobson on trumpet showed poise, even tonality and a genuine Andante countenance, complemented by the perceptive and attendant accompaniment of Veronica Cooper on piano.

The ever convivial Peter Blanker brought a lighter air to the proceedings as he sang Frühlingstraum from Schubert’s Winterreise: a bittersweet, passionate evocation of a longing for warmer days and reciprocated love, followed by Whither Must I Wander by RL Stevenson, with music by Vaughan Williams. In both songs Peter slipped into the classical mode, like stepping into well fitted shoes, leaving the listeners with a warm inner glow, as from an old European cognac.

Then, with the church still and silent, but for the solitary clacking of a slow, deliberate metronome, Brian Gregson mesmerised everyone with his poem Time while paving the way for Peter Coates on cello and Meilo on piano with Eulogy to the eternity of Jesus from Quartet for the End of Time by Messiaen; easily the most moving piece of the performance.

The concert concluded with a stunning rendition of Allegro from Concerto for Two Clarinets by Franz Krommer in which Clare Stiles on English clarinet and Michelle Grant on her French equivalent delivered bravura performances to bring the evening to a thrilling conclusion.John Tonner


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