Great start to concert season

Violinist Sasha Raikhlina and pianist Yoshie Kawamura.
Violinist Sasha Raikhlina and pianist Yoshie Kawamura.

THE first lunchtime concert in the 2013 autumn series at St George’s United Reformed Church in Morpeth provided a feast of music for a large and enthusiastic audience.

Taking part were two young and extremely talented young ladies – violinist Alexandra Raikhlina and pianist Yoshie Kawamura.

Although young, both performers have very extensive experience, having played all over the world.

Alexandra is the sub-principal first violin of the Royal Northern Sinfonia Orchestra, which she joined in 2009.

She previously trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey and followed this with many solo appearances up and down the country and in Europe.

Yoshie, born in Japan in 1985, started playing the piano at the age of six and from 11, when she came to the UK, trained at Wells Cathedral School in Somerset and later at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she completed her Masters degree.

Subsequently, she has given many concerts worldwide and has won numerous prizes and awards.

The programme consisted of only two works, the first being the Sonata No 6 in a Major by Beethoven.

Written in three movements, this composition is among the composer’s most distinguished, written during a most productive period in his life.

The opening allegro has a lovely, gentle and lilting theme which moves gracefully and smoothly, with violin and piano alternating with the main tune. Both tone and intonation were outstanding.

The second movement, an adagio, was equally impressive with beautiful legato playing with a rich and mellow tone. The music reflects true feelings of tenderness and sorrow.

The final movement, the fast moving allegretto, was a main theme with variations with moving passages where every note was most distinct and clear. Both violin and piano played their part in a brilliant performance.

Also in three movements, the second work – separated in time by more than a century – was Sir Edward Elgar’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in E Minor. A total contrast to the measured music of Beethoven, this was romantic music at its best.

The opening allegro, fast moving and exciting, was full of youthful vigour and was played in an exquisite manner in both its accuracy and execution. A powerful and dramatic opening.

Following the allegro, the haunting and mysterious romance was a total contrast. The fragmented opening gave way to a lovely flowing and tender theme which was played with great sympathy with beautiful ebb and flow in a rich and full tone.

Finally, an exciting end to the concert was provided by the allegro in the final movement. The music, broad and flowing, was a fitting climax to a concert of the very highest class performed by two extremely professional musicians.

The large audience showed their appreciation with loud and sustained applause.