We were treated to an excellent Informal Concert in St Edmund’s Hall on Friday 23rd November. The programme was full and varied, with many outstanding performances with six performers making their first solo appearance in a Malvern College concert.
Kicking things off were the Cello Club - Felix Berger, Alice Day and Helena Rose- who played a piece arranged by our cello teacher, Mrs Walden. Piazzolla’s Oblivion was arranged the tango style, and the Cello Club captured the mood of the piece very well. Crystal Yip followed, with Chopin’s C# minor Nocturne. This was musically played and captured the cantabile style that Chopin’s music is renowned for.
We then had Thomas Birley with a performance of Einaudi’s Nuvole Bianche. This was most musical with an appreciation of the subtle textural nuances intended and with some lovely legato playing too. Freja Bedell sang Once upon a dream by Frank Wildhorn confidently and very well communicated. Nayanna Sira followed with the Cantilena from Poulenc’s flute sonata. Nayanna’s performance was very well-managed with a beautifully clear tone and some lovely phrasing.
Konrad Barbers played Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow by Ben Crosland, on the piano, with a very good appreciation of the rhythmic vitality needed for this piece.
We then had Cameron Eldridge playing Ronald Binge’s The Watermill on the oboe. This piece sits very high in the oboe’s tessitura, which Cameron managed with ease and his customary lyrical projection. Kitty Holroyd is most frequently seen playing the trumpet and it was very nice to hear her singing this time round, with Schubert’s Ständchen. She has a lovely richness to her alto voice.
Leo Westwood played the first Christmas piece of the year, performing a lovely, jazzy arrangement of Santa Claus is coming to town by Nikky Isles with fluency and a sense of fun. We then had Harrison Hudson performing Somewhere (from Westside Story) by Bernstein with some real expression and communication. Jonny Wan was next up with He’s a Pirate (from the soundtrack of Pirates of the Caribbean) by Klaus Badelt. Jonny joined the College this term and has already made his mark with his guitar playing, and this performance was fluent and well-presented.
Shea John played Kerry by Hilary Taggart. This piece couples a wistful Irish melody with an Irish jig and Shea captured the mood of this perfectly with some lovely, free playing and energetic dance rhythms in this polished rendition. Helena Huang Zhu was next, playing Debussy’s 1st Arabesque with some lovely legato playing and a real awareness of the textural demands placed on the player.
Syuzanna Avanesova sang Wildhorn’s In his eyes, a very musical performance, with very effective communication and some lovely phrasing. Felix Berger returned after his Cello Club exploits to play the Adagio of Marcello’s E minor cello sonata. There was, in this performance, some very good characteristic articulation and a lovely, sonorous sound.
Entering the home straight, we had a second rendition of Crosland’s Bow-Chicka-Wow-Wow, this time played by Nicholas Wilson. This was a different interpretation and played very confidently. Our penultimate item was Jasper Penrice playing the Allegretto from Saint-Saens’ clarinet sonata. Jasper’s playing has always been full of musicality and this performance was no different – it was a very stylish performance. And, finally, we had Eileen Shen. Again, Eileen is new to the College this year and has brought with her a wealth of experience. Her playing of Schubert’s Ab major Impromptu was full of outstanding technical accomplishment and musical awareness – a truly excellent performance to bring the concert to a close.
My thanks to all the performers and to Mr Phillips and Mr Thomas for their accompanying too.