Enjoyable programme of music

Emma Straughan, Peter Waigh and Ken Irvine
Emma Straughan, Peter Waigh and Ken Irvine

Emma Straughan and Peter Waugh, supported by pianist Ken Irvine, performed for the St George’s URC Lunchtime Concert on April 5

Two local musicians provided a very varied and enjoyable programme for the pre-Easter concert in Morpeth United Reformed Church’s lunchtime concert series.

Oboeist Emma Straughan began with one of Albinoni’s acclaimed Oboe Concertos.

This sprightly, three-movement work, full of lovely tunes, bounced along in the two outer Allegro movements, whilst the central flowing Andante was beautifully executed.

Emma was accompanied by Ken Irvine providing a piano version of the original string orchestra accompaniment.

It was altogether a delightful performance.

Organist Peter Waugh’s first piece, written for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, was a rousing ‘Intrada’ by English composer Grayston Ives.

He followed this with JS Bach’s intricate Eastertide Choral Prelude O Mensch Bewein, producing some fine tonal colours from the St George’s Harrison Organ, and ended his first selection with a delightful arrangement of Hugh Roberton’s All In The April Evening.

Emma followed with three widely contrasting pieces written for oboe and piano combination, ranging from the mid 19th century to mid 20th century.

Robert Schumann’s Romance No 1 in F was followed by Gavriel Grovlez’s Sarabande and Allegro, and she concluded with Madeleine Dring’s Italian Dance.

Some fine legato playing in the Romance and Sarabande was followed with real virtuosity in the Allegro and the Italian Dance.

This was a very stylish performance, ably supported by Ken on the piano.

Peter’s final group began with a short and very tuneful piece, also by Schumann, for a pedal piano — a piano with a pedal keyboard and extra strings to sound the bass, which sounded well on the organ.

The final two items were composed by Louis Lefebure-Wely, a very fine mid-19th century organist.

Peter performed two highly contrasting pieces, the first being a short tuneful Andante, and then a great burst of sound in the outgoing ‘Sortie’.

Altogether, a very tuneful and varied programme was enjoyed and much appreciated by the usual large audience, who went home with smiles on their faces.

The next Lunchtime Concert is on Wednesday, May 17, and will be given by Iona Brown, Principal Violinist with Royal Northern Sinfonia, accompanied by Jenny Maartens on piano.

The programme will consist of Beethoven’s lovely ‘Spring’ Sonata and works by Bach.

Public support for these concerts has been so great that they have been extended by a month.

On Wednesday, June 14 a group of talented young musicians will give a concert to close the season.