THE third of the Winter/Spring Lunchtime Concerts at St George’s United Reformed Church featured students from the Centre for Advanced Training at The Sage, Gateshead, who are all pupils of Jennifer and David Murray.
The youngest performer, 14-year-old clarinetist Daniel McCarty, set the standard with Mendelssohn’s Spring Song.
Its beautiful melody was played with confidence, style, good rhythm and tonal quality. Daniel was at ease in upper and lower registers and produced a charming performance.
Flautist Julia Lockmuller followed with one of Mozart’s rondos. It was a confident and competent rendering, clear and precise with an excellent warm tone. Julia handled the tricky moving passages with skill.
Pianist Lucy Walker played Liszt’s Concert Elude No 3 in D flat. This was a difficult piece, but the pianist was up to the occasion. Her playing was confident and accurate. Complicated passages were skilfully accomplished, while the chord work was clear and played with great feeling. This was a riveting performance.
Michael Bentham on clarinet played the first movement from Brahm’s Sonata in E flat. This challenging work was performed with skill and confidence. The soloist held the fast and slow passages well together and was very convincing.
Jessica Weisser, on descant recorder, performed Rondeau Hongrois by Krahmer. This was a brilliant experience with tricky passages played with exuberance and skill. Every note was distinct. It was a very polished display.
Lucy Walker appeared again, playing clarinet in the first movement from the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Poulenc. There are tricky passages, but Lucy played with skill, verve, clarity and excellent tonal quality.
Pianist Michael Biggins played Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin with confidence, skill and accuracy. Michael gave a superb rendering, moving up and down the keyboard with ease.
Every note was audible and there was no evidence of confused playing. It was a moving musical experience.
The final performer, clarinetist Sam Thomas, played probably the most difficult of the clarinet works in the concert, the Five Dance Preludes by Lutoslawski.
There are great differences in tempo and mood, but Sam mastered the challenges.
Every note was perfectly placed and the whole effect was one of great musical awareness.
This was a fitting finale to a concert from a group of very talented young musicians. David Murray, who accompanied on the piano in a brilliant manner, would be very proud.
The last concert of the series is on April 17, when Iona Brown and Alexandra Raikhlina, Principal and Sub-Principal First Violinists of Northern Sinfonia Orchestra will give a recital.