18 June in The Orangery hall of the Deer Park Hotel near Honiton, the Australian pianist, Piers Lane, gave a lunchtime recital and a reprise of his sell-out programme in the Wigmore Hall 6 months before. This recital being shorter included Scarlatti’s Sonata in B minor, Bach’s Prelude & Fugue Book 1 in C sharp minor and in B flat minor, Chopin’s Nocturnes Op.27 in C sharp minor and No.2 in D flat major, finishing with Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme of Chopin Op.22.
The final concert of the Festival was a celebration of Light Music on 30 June with Roger Hendy’s ‘new’ ISCA Light Orchestra, with Music Deco playing in The Beehive, Honiton. Starting with Richard Rogers’ Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Poulenc’s Andante con moto, featuring Andrew Daldorph, piano, and Puccini’s Quando m’en vo & Simi Chiamano Mimi, featuring soprano Kate Walker, it was time for Alfie Pugh’s World Premiere. Exeter based Alfie’s A Journey through a Feline Mind is a jazz suite in 4 movements for string orchestra & rhythm section, also featuring Chris Gradwell on tenor saxophone. Also, [...]
23 June saw the ISCA Ensemble with Roger Hendy conducting in St Giles and St Nicholas Church in Sidmouth playing to a full audience in the Festival’s penultimate concert. The concert opened with selection of four pieces from Prokofiev’s second suite of the ballet Romeo and Juliet; Montagues and Capulets the best known, followed by Juliet as a Young Girl, Friar Lawrence and finally Dance. Staying with this theme, Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances took us to the interval. After the interval, Georgian pianist, Luka Okros was welcomed to the stage to play Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto. Luka performed flawlessly, but [...]
On 22nd June at 7.30, Pocket Sinfonia ( l-r Eleanor Corr, Emil Duncumb, Rosie Bowker, Thomas Isaac) treated the audience in St Mary’s Axminster to orchestral music with a difference, as they performed works only with their flute, violin, cello and piano. Hearing Prokofiev’s Symphony No.1 and Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne in this form was a revelation and thought-provoking, as none of the essential ingredients of the works were missing. After the interval, Martinu’s Madrigal Sonata was played with violin, flute and piano only. It was back to the full quartet for Greig’s Holberg Suite, which completed a [...]
The delightful Sidholme Music Room, Sidmouth was the venue for London-based pianist Marc Verter’s recital of Scenes from the Mediterranean on 21st June at 7.30 In the first half of his recital, Marc played Faure’s Barcarolles No.1 and No.3 (of the 13 in total), followed by Chopin’s Four Mazurkas, Op.41 and Pamela Harrison’s Six Eclogues of Portugal, centred on the Alentejo region, finishing with Albeniz’s Tango from his Suite Espana. After the interval, we heard Chopin’s Ballade No.1, Op.23, Respighi’s Notturno, from Sei Pezzi for solo piano, P.44 and Albeniz’s El Puerto and Triana from books 1 and 2 [...]
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Upottery was the venue for Wednesday, 20 June’s recital by the Dante Quartet. Artists and audience enjoyed a pre-concert drink or supper in the Sidmouth Arms before sitting back and hearing the Quartet play Beethoven’s String Quartet No.16, Op.135, followed by Shostakovitch’s Quartet No.3, Op.73. This is the year the Quartet were tackling all of Shostakovitch’s 15 quartet’s so hearing this perhaps better known work, was an excellent introduction. After the interval, Dante played Smetana’s absorbing String Quartet No.1 in E minor “From my Life”.
Libby Burgess Gareth John & Gemma Summerfield Tuesday, 19 June it was time for operatic voice and again held in the Deer Park Hotel for an evening kindly sponsored by Dr Clive Potter. Pianist, Libby Burgess, brought Gareth John, baritone and Gemma Summerfield, soprano who gave us a well-balanced sing through ‘Seasons of Life’, which started with Childhood and Finzi’s The Birthnight, Rebecca Clarke’s Infant Joy and Richard Rodney Bennett’s Wee Willie Winkie. Youth and Spring was illustrated with Mendelssohn’s I wish that I could pour my love (sung in English), Quilter’s My life’s delight, Britten’s Sally in [...]
Trevor Bolshaw, Patron Sarah Walker, Piers Lane, Tasmin Little and David Reeks 18 June in The Orangery hall of the Deer Park Hotel near Honiton, the Australian pianist, Piers Lane was joined in the evening by Tasmin Little playing Brahms’ Sonatensatz from the FAE Sonata, Schubert’s Sonatina in D major and Szymanowski’s Sonata in D minor. After the interval, they finished the evening with Ravel’s Pièce en form d’Habanera and Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A major. It was a marvellous evening, despite the delivered Steinway being hard work to play.
17 June at 3pm in St Michael and All Angels church in Stockland, the Axminster Chamber Choir with Peter Parshall, and on organ Peter Lea-Cox, sang their way through a ‘European Journey’, with predominantly religious songs. The organist played a stirring number before the choir finished their enjoyable recital. There was much to talk about over tea and cake afterwards.
16 June at 7.30pm in The Beehive, 4 Girls 4 Harps (above l-r Harriet Adie, Eleanor Turner, Keziah Thomas, Elizabeth Bass) played the first concert in this year’s Festival, with works together with arrangements by Harriet Adie and Eleanor Turner. The first half started with Variations on Handel’s Sarabande in D and finished with Piazzolla’s Milonga del Angel and Libertango. In the second half, the girls played 3 of Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, a March from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and a Waltz from his Cinderella, finishing with 3 Dances from Manuel de Falla, transcribed by Eleanor Turner. All [...]