Review: Concerts for Colyton

PUBLISHED: 09:53 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 15 June 2010

Concerts for Colyton on Saturday 8 March introduced two percussionists, James Godfrey and Scott Foster.

Concerts for Colyton" on Saturday 8 March introduced two percussionists, James Godfrey and Scott Foster. On the previous evening they had been playing in Tromso, north Norway, but there was no sign of fatigue or journey-lag - rather the opposite. Energy poured from these two young men and this enthused the good-sized audience, who listened intently and often with a smile. We already knew that the players had won many student prizes and awards, and when one heard (and saw them) this was not surprising.

A dramatic, startling opening from the two ends of the Feoffees Hall, with bongos calling and answering each other, made an impressive beginning, and the players soon established a remarkable rapport and involvement with the audience. Some playing was almost dangerously loud, but there were some remarkably beautiful quiet pieces, exploring colour as well as rhythm. We heard a well-designed selection of pieces for marimba, xylophone and vibraphone, mostly specially composed specially for these instruments, with kaleidoscopic colour changes and a wide variety of styles.

The programme notes, provided for us by James, (who hails from Torbay) were very helpful as the pieces progressed. Many of these had rhythms as important as their tunes, but the Bach chorale, "O sacred head", played tremolando with soft sticks on the xylophone, slowly, sensitively and very, very softly, conjured an atmosphere which moved many.

The encore was a tour de force, with two xylophones placed back to back, rapid-fire music with brilliant rhythmic precision, and each player moving round to play the other's instrument whilst in full flight!

Here were two very talented and engaging young musicians who produced an extra dimension to the already wide-ranging styles of "Concerts for Colyton". The final concert of the season on April 5th will be given by the Cappa String Quartet.

William Llewellyn

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