Musical trio opens concert series

Lunchtime Concert, Nick Byrne (cello), Ian Buckle (piano) and Eilidh Gillespie (flute).
Lunchtime Concert, Nick Byrne (cello), Ian Buckle (piano) and Eilidh Gillespie (flute).
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The first lunchtime concert of the 2017 winter-spring series at St George’s United Reformed Church in Morpeth featured Eilidh Gillespie on flute, her husband Nick Byrne on cello, and pianist Ian Buckle.

All three are experienced musicians.

Eilidh and Nick are members of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, while Ian enjoys an extensive freelance career as a soloist, accompanist, orchestral pianist and teacher.

Eilidh also has a busy freelance career with other UK and overseas orchestras, while Nick appears as a concert soloist all over the UK. He also performs with several orchestras, including The Royal Liverpool, BBC Philharmonic and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Their programme consisted of three contrasting works.

The first, by Martinu, was his trio for flute, cello and piano, composed in 1944.

The opening movement, a lively allegretto had all three soloists involved in complex, interwoven themes.

A gentle adagio offered an opportunity for each soloist to display a rich tonal quality and total togetherness.

There are hints of church bells in this movement, a throwback to the composer’s childhood home in a church tower.

The trio concluded with a sombre flute solo, which then gave way to fast and furious interplay, with a vigorous conclusion.

Flute and cello combined in Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos’s Jet Whistle, written in 1950.

This is a work full of colourful and exciting passages, reflecting the folk music and cafe music of the composer’s native land.

Throughout the piece there are big contrasts in both range and timbre.

The first movement featured the flute in successive fast moving passages, with the cello moving serenely below.

The haunting theme of the adagio had both instruments almost playing independently in different styles.

And the final Vivo brings the piece to a dramatic end, with the flute playing the fast Glissandi. This sounded like a jet plane, from where the title originates.

The third work, where Nick joined the others, was Von Weber’s trio for flute, cello and piano in G Minor.

This piece, with a more classical feel, was written in 1819.

The opening allegro was graceful and gentle, with the flute prominent initially.

However, cello and piano dominated the letter part of the movement.

The Scherto moved along at a lively pace, with a semi-martial theme, alternating with a lilting waltz.

The third movement, Schafers Klage (Shepherd Lament), was a simple theme on flute, which was complemented by the other two instruments.

The trio concluded with an allegro, with rich and contrasting themes. This culminated in an exciting climax.

The next lunchtime concert of the series takes place at St George’s United Reformed Church, Morpeth, on Wednesday, February 15, at 12.30pm. Admission is £3 at the door.

BCP