Roseland Music Society

Reviews

 

The June 2018 concert featured the talented Pelleas Ensemble, an interesting trio of Flute, Viola and Harp. Historically Flute and Harp duos are popular and the Viola adds a further dimension.

 

The first dedicated piece for this combination is recorded as written by French composer Theodore Dubois in 1905. The recital opened with this – Terzettino – a short and engaging piece, tuneful, gentle, and treating each instrument with equal importance.

The scene was set promising a special evening from three very gifted instrumentalists.

 

A Sonata for Flute and Basso continuo attributed to J S Bach followed. The Basso continuo on this occasion featured the skilled Harpist Oliver Wass providing a wonderful underlying accompaniment to the virtuoso flute playing of Henry Roberts.

 

Next was a Sonata written (1915) for Flute, Viola and Harp by Debussy who set out during his final years to compose a set of chamber works for "diverse ensembles". This piece features all three instruments blending together in three contrasting movements.

 

The Baroque era was represented with a Trio Sonata (1689) by Italian composer Corelli. Regular formats of the period were two violins with basso continuo – often cello or similar and a keyboard. In this instance Flute and Violin play the two upper parts, the Harp the continuo. Luba Tunnicliffe showed her exceptional talents by changing to the Violin.

 

Influential Romantic period composer Saint Saens featured next. In his later years he became fascinated by the potential of the Harp and we listened to his Fantaisie for Violin and Harp (1907) – Luba again playing the Violin. This lyrical piece typically demonstrates the delicate sonority of the Harp.

 

The final piece composed by French Impressionist Ravel between 1914 and 1917, Le Tombeau de Couperin, is a suite originally for solo Piano in six movements based on those of a traditional Baroque suite. This is reflected in the structure which imitates a Baroque dance suite.

This version was arranged for Flute, Viola and Harp by Jocelyn Morlock in 2006.

 

After prolonged applause the Ensemble played Gershwin for an encore, A Foggy Day and Love Walked In.

 

There is a break until next season starts on 28th September with The Ridgeway Ensemble. Their themed programme showcases the relationships between three of the greatest musicians of the 19th century, Johannes Brahms, Robert and Clara Schumann.

THIS CONCERT WILL BE PRECEDED BY THE AGM AT 6.45 p.m.

 

One can only repeat how sad it is that our support for these impressive leading artists and excellent value for money recitals continues to disappoint.

 

The concert at the end of this month, Pelleas Ensemble already previewed in May, brings to a close the 2017-2018 season. A programme for next season will be available in September when renewal of memberships will be invited, together with invitations from new members. The annual Membership fee is modest as are the advantageous prices of tickets. Please support the small, hard working committee striving to maintain this flow of leading artists brought to our doorstep in the Roseland. It has already been stressed that the future for RMS depends on YOU.

 

 

Our May concert featured the sensational young Russian-born Australian-raised classical guitarist Andrey Lebedev. He certainly lived up to his reputation as ‘one of the most successful young guitarists of his generation’. An exciting programme spanned composers from John Dowland born in the sixteenth century to contemporary Australian musician Brett Dean. Those present were enthusiastic in their appreciation of this popular artist.

 

The whole programme was played from memory and the audience was spell bound by the technical virtuosity combined with the breadth of textures. Changes in mood and tempo afforded examples of wonderful lyricism and ‘story telling’ mingled with moments of spectacular brilliance including mastery of tremolo playing. There were also interesting examples of modern harmonics and effects!

 

As an encore Andrey played a beautiful piece, El Ultimo Tremolo, by Agustin Barrios (1885-1944), a Paraguayan virtuoso classical guitarist and prolific composer for the instrument. Listen to it on YouTube for a treat and demonstration in the art of tremolo!

 

It was clear how well earned was Andrey’s impressive reputation and list of achievements at so young an age.

 

Andrey’s interaction with the audience and commentaries were both informative and interesting. We had already heard from previous artists that guitars do not improve with age and the instruments have a limited ‘life span’ for top performers. Andrey’s instrument was made especially for him by Jim Redgate, one of two top Australian guitar builders. Such craftsmen are much in demand and, whilst making to order for top performers only, there is still a long waiting list.

 

One can only repeat how sad it is that our support for these impressive leading artists and excellent value for money recitals continues to disappoint.

 

The concert at the end of this month, Pelleas Ensemble already previewed in May, brings to a close the 2017-2018 season. A programme for next season will be available in September when renewal of memberships will be invited, together with invitations from new members. The annual Membership fee is modest as are the advantageous prices of tickets. Please support the small, hard working committee striving to maintain this flow of leading artists brought to our doorstep in the Roseland. It has already been stressed that the future for RMS depends on YOU.

 

 

The January 2018 Concert featured a welcome return of the award winning Cornish Male Voice Group ‘Eight in a Bar’, under the direction of their well known Director Angela Renshaw. A move from the Midlands in 2004 was Cornwall’s gain and Angela became very active in the Cornish Music scene, in particular with her untiring commitment to the development of Youth Music.

 

They were accompanied ably for the first time by Francis Shepherd, administrator at the Music Department at Truro School and member of Truro Cathedral Choir, who had only one rehearsal with the Group prior to the concert.

 

The choir consisted of eight singers when first they came together over 20 years ago as a four part harmony group. Popularity was immediate and they soon became much in demand. With a wide repertoire they have travelled widely and gained many awards, forging a reputation for singing music both complex and ‘with a difference’. A punishing schedule saw a need to expand numbers enabling a broadening of the repertoire and cover when there were unavoidable absences.

 

In common with so many other groups and choirs recruitment of new younger singers is difficult as age catches up with long established members leading to apprehension over future continuity.

 

A broad variety of songs both familiar and new were offered, both accompanied and unaccompanied. The close harmonies of the varied selection of songs blended in a delightful and professional way and were greeted with enthusiastic applause.

 

Notice of the concert on March 2nd featuring the highly acclaimed Thorne Trio (Ladies Wind Trio) was noted in the February Roseland.

 

There follows a break until May 11th when we welcome the talented young guitarist Andrey Lebedev, ‘one of the most successful young guitarists of his generation’. Guitarists are popular with the Society and he will be presenting a broad and exciting selection of pieces.

 

The December 2017 concert featured two brilliant musicians, flautist Rosanna Ter-Berg accompanied by pianist Leo Nicholson.

 

The pre interval music featured three French 20th composers, Ibert, Poulenc and Jolivet.

The first half concluded with a stunning piece – Zoom Tube – by Contemporary Flautist/Composer Ian Clarke who in recent years has established a reputation as one of the UK's most innovative flautists with a particular interest in contemporary works and techniques.

To quote Judith Baylis, Committee Member and flautist herself;

‘The Zoom Tube by Ian Clarke was hugely innovative. Rosanna played this piece unaccompanied.

The audience were mesmerized as she produced the most amazing sounds by the slightest alteration of her embouchure. Using her cheeks, tongue, and lips, in creating the most unusual sounds .Clarkes composition makes use of extended techniques, producing jet whistles and trills.

The piece was appreciated, and enthusiastically applauded’.

 

The interval was followed by music of the 20th century by Italian composer and virtuoso pianist Alfredo Casella. To finish there was a return to the Romantic era and a Sonata by Cesar Franck

 

Judith also attended the workshops together with Co-ordinator Chris Williams. Members are already aware of the invaluable contribution of Roseland Youth Music to which many generously contribute. Since inception over 5,500 students have benefitted from visits from our first class visiting artists. This time it was the turn of St Mawes and Tregony Primary Schools.

Again in the words of Judith;

‘Two outstanding workshops at St Mawes and Veryan schools were a triumph.

The two musicians, Rosanna Ter-Berg Flute, and Leo Nicholson Piano, were an inspiration.

They engaged with the pupils, explaining their instruments in an historical but meaningful way.

The children were introduced to rhythm, melody, timing and pitch.

They composed songs, singing them in the round,

They were encouraged to listen carefully, deciding on appropriate animals represented by the music.

The hour passed with joy and learning, even holding the attention of the youngest children.’

 

 

The November concert featured Bulgarian born cellist Yoanna Prodanova and British pianist Rosie Richardson who complemented each other superbly.

 

The programme commenced with the Adagio and Allegro for piano and cello by von Weber who is considered one of the first significant Romantic composers. This proved an excellent introduction to both the lyricism, delicate touch and shading expertise of Yoanna during gentle playing followed by her exciting brilliance, control and balance ‘at speed’.

 

Next was a contrast from the 20th century, Britten’s Sonata for cello and piano. The Scherzo is particularly fascinating with the cello played pizzicato throughout.

 

Schuman was widely considered one of the finest pianists of his time but following a hand injury he concentrated on composing becoming one of the greatest of the Romantic period. We were again treated to a dreamy, tuneful Reverie on the cello contrasted by sheer virtuosity and intensity in the Allegro.

 

The second part of the recital was devoted to Chopin, another favourite Romantic era virtuoso pianist and composer. Preceded by a Polish song (op 74 no 13 of 17), the recital concluded with the sonata for cello and piano - one of only nine works of Chopin published during his lifetime that were written for instruments other than piano (although the piano still appears in every work he wrote). The cello sonata (1846) was the last of Chopin's works to be published in his lifetime. The brilliance of the pianist is particularly demonstrated as dialogue proceeds equally with the cello. So often the word ‘accompanist’ understates the crucial contribution and skill of the pianist in recitals.

 

The Largo is particularly beautiful and was repeated as an encore following prolonged applause.

 

On Friday December 1st we look forward to welcoming flautist Rosanna Ter-Berg and accompanist Leo Nicholson. Hailed as “supercharged” with “unstinting virtuosity and personality”, Rosanna has forged an outstanding career in chamber music, recitals and the media.

 

Leo is an outstanding pianist. He is an accomplished chamber musician and much sought-after accompanist.

 

The programme should not be missed and will be exciting and stimulating. It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the music of well known composers from the Romantic era and 20th Century, and also an interesting piece by the contemporary British composer Ian Clarke.

 

 

The September 2017 concert heralded the start of the new season of seven concerts for 2017-2018. It was preceded by the Annual General Meeting at which it was reported the Society had a ‘breakeven’ year remaining financially stable.

 

Last year’s members received copies of the Chairman’s Report with their Agenda. Further help is essential to augment the small numbers of loyal ‘outworkers’ and Committee members, together with a stable/increasing membership and attendance at concerts. The fine calibre of artists and close empathy with the audience is unique and the value for money exceptional. We must preserve this jewel, together with Roseland Youth Music which to date has enabled professional musicians to visit local schools benefitting 5,500 pupils since the inception 15 years ago.

 

Peter Louth was re-elected Chairman.

 

Janet Axworthy retired as Secretary after 18 years in post. She was hugely thanked for her loyal and unstinting efforts over such a remarkable time span. A founder member of the Society in 1998 she became Secretary in 1999. Janet is remaining a Committee member to assist where she can. We welcome Julie Saunders who was elected Secretary and thank her for agreeing to assume this important Office.

 

Gerry Mcleod retired as Treasurer and from the Committee. A vote of thanks was also warmly endorsed for his enormous contribution. His detailed monthly Financial Reports, Analysis of Results, Budgeting and Wise Financial Guidance proved invaluable for managing the Society’s affairs and future planning. Peter Cunningham has been shadowing Gerry for some months and was elected Treasurer. We are fortunate to have found such a qualified person to follow on and confident that our Finances remain in good hands.

 

We are grateful that last year’s serving Committee members agreed to continue and they were re-elected ‘en bloc’.

 

Space does not allow a fuller appraisal of the memorable Piano Recital by Hiroaki Takenouchi, an immensely popular artist at his previous visits. His return after 7 years and virtuoso performance in all respects of power and delicacy had the audience spellbound and was received with sustained applause.

 

Cellists have proved popular with Members and for our second concert of the season on Friday November 10th we welcome the highly regarded Bulgarian born cellist Yoanna Prodanova and her acclaimed and much in demand accompanist Rosie Richardson. Their exciting programme includes well known composers from the Romantic era and 20th Century.