Michael Fu and Nicole Souter at St George’s URC Lunchtime Concert.
The first Autumn Lunchtime Concert held in St George’s United Reformed Church was billed as “An Autumn Starter”.
What a tremendous beginning to the new series. Two 15-year-old musicians served up a musical feast to a most appreciative audience.
Michael Fu (Violin) and Flautist Nicole Souter played to a very high standard, which was way beyond anything expected from such a young age.
Both are local, Michael attends Newcastle Royal Grammar School and Nicole is a student at King Edward VI School.
Michael completed his violin diploma last year whilst Nicole is currently preparing for Grade 8.
It was obvious from the start that the two young students possessed huge talent. Nicole’s confident and assured playing of Bizet’s “Entr’acte” from ‘Carmen’ and the Finale of JS Bach’s B minor Flute Sonata showed up well her versatility in two contrasting compositions.
Match her dexterity with an excellent tonal quality and the result was delightful.
Similarly, Michael’s opening two pieces were outstanding in their execution. The beautiful lilting Theme from “Schindlers List” by John Williams set the scene with its nostalgia and pathos. Michael’s full, rich tone and elegant distinct style was a musical delight, as was his rendition of Borowski’s “Adoration”. This too was a high quality performance.
Nicole continued with CPE Bach’s Adagio, the first movement of the Sonata in A Minor. This piece is unaccompanied and requires very careful handling but the young flautist was well up to the task.
She ended her programme with Jerome Kern’s “Smoke gets in your eyes” – a very popular choice with the audience. This was a very good arrangement and played with verve, confidence and no little skill.
Michael ended his programme with two contrasting works.
The first movement of Grieg’s Violin Sonata No 3 in C Minor is a challenging piece with its powerful introduction, followed by a lyrical dancing tune and a hectic ‘Presto’ to conclude. Michael was up to the challenge and his playing was powerful and impressive. The final composition, Massenet’s “Meditation” from the Opera ‘Thais’ with its romantic and delightful melody brought the concert to a fitting finale.
Throughout the proceedings, Ken Irvine, at the piano, provided the professional support required. This was a superb beginning to the new series. BCP