Listeners were gripped by musical excellence

PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 October 2017

© Damon Shuck

Two international soloists, four composers - all at SeatonMusic's first concert of its new season.

SeatonMusic’s first concert of the 66th season lived up to the club’s motto.

Two international soloists performed works by four great composers of the 19th and 20th centuries at The Gateway on Thursday, October 19.

Martyn Jackson (violin) has worked with renowned London orchestras, and performed violin concertos in various European concert halls.

For this concert he was accompanied by pianist Simon Callaghan, who is no stranger to Seaton audiences, having come with a clarinettist in December 2016.

His biography is equally impressive, with performances in the UK’s major concert halls, in European venues and on radio.

Their programme opened with Beethoven’s Violin Sonata in C minor, op.30 no.2.

Listeners were immediately gripped by the striking opening bars, and the musicians’ range of expression was evident in this agitated first movement, contrasting with the more lyrical second, the light-hearted moments in the third and the drama of the fourth.

A work by one of France’s best loved 20th century composers, Francis Poulenc, showed passion and lush harmony alongside suffering and plaintive lament.

The Sonata for Violin and Piano FP 119 was dedicated to the poet Lorca.

It evoked Lorca’s Spain, but also the composer’s anger and sadness at his death.

Two works from the 1870s formed the second half of the concert: Fauré’s popular Sonata for Violin and Piano op.13 and Tchaikovsky’s energetic Valse Scherzo op.34

The virtuosic skill of the two musicians was evident in dazzlingly fast passages and deeply-felt slow passages, in moments of drama and moments of humour. Indeed, a display of ‘musical excellence’.

The next concert features Exeter–based pianist Alex Wilson playing music by composers affected by the World War One, including Butterworth, Bridge, Gurney and Ravel.

It is on Thursday, November 16, at 7.30pm, at the The Gateway.

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