`

A challenging and varied concert

Lunchtime concert at St George's URC.
Lunchtime concert at St George's URC.

Third 2018 lunchtime concert at St George’s United Reformed Church, Morpeth.

Eilidh Gillespie (flute) and Nick Byrne (cello) made a welcome return to the latest lunchtime concert. They were joined by Eilidh’s pupil Isabella Thorneycroft and pianist Alison Gill.

While Eilidh, Nick and Alison are seasoned campaigners, Isabella is only 16 years old and attends Kings Priory School in Tynemouth. She is, however, a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

The programme was most challenging and varied, consisting of five compositions.

The four performers opened with Sonata in G Major by JS Bach. The gentle and moving opening Largo led into a bright and energetic Vivace, which highlighted the clear and crisp playing of the ensemble.

A stately Adagio with a measured tread and a most lively presto brought the work to an exhilarating conclusion.

The playing throughout was of a very high standard, with excellent teamwork.

Isabella and Alison then combined in American composer Aaron Copland’s Duo for Flute and Piano.

This is a flowing and poetic work and most reflective. The slow, gentle opening led into a dramatic and fast moving passage, which really tested the upper register of the flute. The slow, sombre theme returned, but the piece ended in a lively and complex finale.

Both Isabella and Alison gave a very impressive rendition of a most difficult composition.

Nick returned with Alison to perform The Variations on a Theme of Rossini for Cello and Piano by Czech composer Martinu.

A lively and quirky main theme is followed by several testing variations, which Nick and Alison handled with aplomb.

This was an outstanding performance with total togetherness of both players throughout.

Alison finally had a rest whilst Isabella and Eilidh continued with WF Bach’s Sonata No 4 for two flutes. This work, by one of JS Bach’s sons, is full of ingenuity and charm.

A lovely flowing Allegro was followed by a lively Presto in which both flautists showed a fine degree of brilliant interplay, with clear and precise notation.

The concert ended with all four musicians joining to perform Doppler’s Andante and Rondo for flutes.

The opening Andante was stately, with a lovely flowing theme, whilst the exciting Rondo brought the concert to a thrilling conclusion.

Another large audience expressed their appreciation of what had been a musical experience of the highest class with long and sustained applause.

BCP

The next in the series of lunchtime concerts will be on Wednesday, April 11.

It will feature David Hedley (oboe) and William Harrison (piano), both from Durham University Music School.

Doors open at noon, with tickets costing £3 and payable on the door on the day of the concert.