1 February 2017
On Tuesday 31 January, Stoic musicians gave an outstanding lunchtime concert at St Paul’s Church, Bedford as part of their Lunchtime Recital Series. This successful concert series regularly features up-and-coming stars who are graduates from music conservatoires and following on from the Stoic piano recital last term; we were invited back this term. I am pleased to say that the concert was a resounding success, and I was immensely impressed by all those that took part.
Jeffrey Au (Fourth Form, Walpole) gave an electric performance of two contrasting Sonatas by Scarlatti, and this was followed by a sublime performance of Prière by Delmas on the harp, given by Charlotte Brennan (Lower Sixth, West). The acoustic in the church was beautiful and the sound produced by Charlotte reached all the way to the rafters. Audrey Au (Third Form, Lyttelton) and Rosia Li (Third Form, Stanhope) then played a Mozart duet for violin and viola which was like listening to a fascinating musical conversation. Both players communicated excellently during the performance and the balance between them was very well considered.
The centerpiece of the concert featured Mozart’s Horn Quintet in E flat Major performed by Alex Grinyer (Upper Sixth, Walpole), Chris Windass (Head of Strings), Rosia Li, Amalia Aitchison (Lower Sixth, Nugent) and Lewis Bell (Upper Sixth, Grenville). The overall ensemble was very well polished and the performance was very well balanced and highly musical.
Theodore Hayes (Fourth Form, Chatham) performed Gershwin’s ‘The Man I Love’ and ‘I Got Rhythm’ with sensitivity and conviction and Lewis Bell and Rosia Li gave an assured and well-shaped performance of Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata on the viola and piano. Lewis performed Les jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este by Liszt, and the serene, water-like passages were both technically and musically refined.
To finish the recital, Audrey and Jeffrey Au performed Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro, a virtuosic showpiece which pushes the limits of technique on the violin. Audrey’s performance was astoundingly good and it was a great way to finish the concert.
I would like to thank all the performers and Heather Turnham, Artistic Director of the lunchtime concert series at St Paul’s for her hospitality.
Ben Andrew, Head of Keyboard