Saturday, October 20, 2012


lunchtime concerts at Chelmsford Cathedral

Two excellent chamber music concerts this month.

First, Aurora Voices, with a European journey which took as far as New England [an evocative John Cage piano solo from accompanist Peter Dollimore] and Egypt. The voices of Beverley Lockyer and Lucy Miller-White blended superbly in the Cathedral acoustic, in duets both floral [Lakme] and epistolary [Figaro], and in the famous Pie Jesu of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Baritone Andy Heard joined Lockyer in Venice, for the Barcarolle from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann.

Then Trio La Volta, bringing us two full-scale works. An international dimension here too, with a pianist from Australia, violinist from the UK, and cellist from Switzerland.
They began with one of Haydn's many trios, with a particularly eloquent Allegro Finale. Then a rare treasure of the British late Romantic repertoire, Parry's Piano Trio in E minor. Sweet melodies, extrovert string playing and pyrotechnics and impressive passagework for the piano. The lovely Adagio, the emotional heart of the piece, was mellifluous, almost maudlin, but played sincerity and style.
The La Voltas are Joyce Fraser, violin, Felix Buser, cello, and Sally Mays, piano.

The Friday lunchtime concerts continue until the Christmas special on December 7th. If you prefer larger ensembles, then Forest School Big Band on November 9th should prove an antidote to the small-scale charms of Aurora and La Volta.

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