Reflective passages at SeatonMusic concert

PUBLISHED: 18:30 21 October 2015

Archant

A large audience attended SeatonMusic’s opening concert in the 2015-2016 season on Thursday to welcome British-American cellist Bartholomew Lafollette and pianist Caroline Palmer.

Both players already have an international reputation, and Bartholomew teaches cello at the prestigious Yehudi Menuhin School, while Caroline is a piano professor at the Guildhall, in London.

In a programme of brilliant 19th century works, the soloist demonstrated the full expressive range of the cello, from its deep dark sounds in the opening of Felix Mendelssohn’s First Cello Sonata op 45, the lyrical second movement and the contrasts of the third movement, to flowing lyricism and the high end of the register in Johannes Brahms’s Four Serious Songs.

These songs, originally for bass voice and piano and inspired by the death of Clara Schumann, conveyed a range of emotions from sadness to consolation and nostalgia and peace.

In a move to the twentieth century, Three Pieces by French composer Nadia Boulanger started the second half of the evening. Dating from 1914, they were by turns dramatic, with passages of virtuosic speed and range, reflective and ethereal.

The programme was completed with Brahms’s Second Cello Sonata op 99, four movements of passionate movement and intense feeling.

An appreciative audience gave them enthusiastic applause.

The next concert in the series is on Thursday, November 19, at 7.30pm, in The Gateway, when viola player Ugne Tiskute accompanied by pianist Alexandra Vaduva will play works by Schubert, Rebecca Clarke (best known for her viola sonata of 1919), Mozart’s son Franz Xaver, and Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla.

Peter Dawson

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