A fitting finale to an outstanding spring concert season

THE final 2013 Winter/Spring Lunchtime Concert took place at St George’s United Reformed Church and featured two violinists from Northern Sinfonia Orchestra.

Both Iona Brown and Alexandra Raikhlina are Principal First Violinists. Both have appeared in recitals up and down the country and are accomplished musicians.

They were accompanied on piano by Sylvia Sutton, another member of the orchestra’s First Violinists.

The programme was varied and interesting.

The first composition was Gulliver’s Suite by Telleman, which appeared two years after the publication of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

The work attempts to reflect the mood and characters in the novel and its five movements are contrasting in style and tempo.

Short, sharp notes are representative of the small people of Lilliput, while the giants of Brobdignag move to slow, deep and ponderous chords.

An interesting piece played with accuracy and timing, with both players in perfect harmony.

A total change of mood followed with a piece by Japanese composer Takemitsu called the Rocking Mirror. The Oriental flavour was obvious in the protracted chordwork, with the ebb and flow reflecting the continuous movement of the mirror.

The first movement of Duo Concertante No 1 by Charles de Beriot provided a further contrast. The soloists were able to show their prowess in the elegant main theme, with powerful, rich chordwork, which was most tuneful. A challenging work was made to appear easy so superbly was it performed.

Mozart’s Mirror Duet (Der Spiegel) was a delight with its beautiful flowing theme with rich, mellow tones. Again there was playing of the highest quality, providing a lasting musical memory.

Sylvia Sutton is also a composer and three of her short compositions were performed.

All were in contrasting styles, with modern chordwork, but they were very musical and were thoroughly enjoyed.

The concert ended with Navarra, a Spanish dance by Sarasate. This was very reminiscent of rural Spain, with spirited and rhythmic passages, many imitating the tapping of castinets.

It was difficult, but the soloists were outstanding, particularly in passages which required skilful use of the upper register of the instruments.

It brought to an end a concert which throughout featured performance of the highest standard. Two outstanding musicians treated a large audience to a truly magnificent musical experience.

After a break during the summer, the new series of Lunchtime Concerts resumes in September.