Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Shaldon Festival 2007

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Choral Workshop and Informal Concert 2007 directed by Stephen Threlfall

Chetham’s School of Music 2007

Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble


Sunday 24 June 2007


Dimension photo

Winners of the 2005 Parkhouse Award

Richard Hyung-ki Joo (piano), Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne (violin) and Thomas Carroll (cello)

Frank Bridge Phantasie Trio in C minor
Ravel Piano Trio in A minor
Brahms Trio in Bb major, Op 8

The final concert of the 2007 Shaldon Festival on the Sunday lived up to and beyond expectations. Winners of the 2005 Parkhouse International Chamber Music Competition, the exciting and dynamic group of three young musicians collectively known as DIMENSION, Hyung-Ki Joo, piano, Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne, violin and Thomas Carroll, cello, gave a masterful performance of three piano trios. Opening with the Phantasie Trio in C minor by Frank Bridge, the power and attack of their playing was spine tingling. Many consider Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor to be one of the composer’s finest works. The four movements demonstrated the full dynamic range and musical ability of this trio: the lovely swaying rhythm of the first, technical brilliance in the second, spell binding beauty of the third with some exquisite cello playing and the spectacular and powerful climax of the lively Finale.

Introducing Brahm’s Piano Trio No 1 in B major as a much loved and central piece of their repertoire DIMENSION dedicated this performance to Eileen Croxford, the Shaldon Festival President and a founding member of the Parkhouse Award, in recognition of the concert opportunities the Award has given them. The rapport between the three players shone through this work and it was a consummate display of musicianship. The shouts of encore and a standing ovation were well deserved and a fitting end to another very successful Festival.

Enid Hayles

Choral Workshop and Informal Concert 2007 directed by Stephen Threlfall

Stephen Threlfall photo
Stephen Threlfall

Choral Workshop
Saturday 23 June 2007


Music Director: Stephen Threlfall
Piano: Peter Adcock
Soprano: Sara Lian Owen


Edvard Grieg Ave Maris Stella

Three Grieg Songs:
Det Første Møde (The First Meeting)
Ein Traum (A Dream)
Tak for dit Råd (Thanks for thy Hand)

Performed by Sara Lian Owen accompanied by Brenda Blewett

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Mass in C minor
It was the turn of the amateurs on the Saturday with over 120 singers attending an all day Choral Workshop conducted by Stephen Threlfall, Director of Music at Chetham’s School. By dint of expertise, energy, enthusiasm and sheer force of personality he coaxed a very creditable performance from the singers of Grieg’s Ave Maris Stella and selected choruses from Mozart’s ‘Great’ Mass in C Minor. It was with some sense of achievement that the choir finished the performance with the fiendishly difficult eight-part chorus Osanna in excelsis. An added bonus was the beautiful singing of soprano Sara Lian Owen, former pupil of Chetham’s School. She performed the soprano solo items in the Mass, which Mozart had composed for his wife Constanze, including the stunning Et Incarnatus Est, as well as demonstrating her versatility with three Grieg songs. All those taking part in the workshop had agreed it had been a hugely enjoyable and educational day of music making.

Enid Hayles

Chetham’s School of Music 2007

Friday 22 June 2007

Chetham’s School of Music
Accompanist: Brenda Blewett

Chethams School of Music photo
Chethams School of Music

Mikhail Nemtsov – cello
SCHUBERT Sonata in A minor, D 821 ‘Arpeggione’

Rachel Harston – flute, Sakura Tanaka – violin
PROKOFIEV Sonata for violin or flute, op.94

Laura Baker – mezzo soprano
PURCELL Music for a While
GRIEG Des Dichters Herz
GRIEG Stammbuchsreim
GRIEG Mens jeg venter JEROME KERN Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man

Mikhail Nemtsov – cello
GRIEG Det første møte
TCHAIKOVSKY Pezzo Capricioso

Rachel Harston – flute
FAURÉ Fantasie

Sakura Tanaka – violin
WIENIAWSKI Scherzo Tarantella

Friday night the accent was on youth with four very talented young musicians from Chetham’s School of Music. They took part in a workshop in the morning with pupils from Shaldon and Inverteign Primary Schools before giving a memorable concert in the evening. Celebrating the centenary of Grieg’s death, the imaginatively constructed programme featured pieces by Grieg for voice, flute, cello and violin alongside other showcase items for these amazingly talented students.

Mikhail Nemtsov who comes from St Petersburg gave a very warm and lyrical account of Schubert’s cello Sonata in A minor with beautifully sustained lines in the slow movement. This contrasted well with the intensity and virtuoso playing he brought to Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo Capricioso. Eighteen-year-old Rachel Harston, currently Principal Flute in the National Youth Orchestra, ably demonstrated the variety of sound and style that can be achieved in flute playing and gave a poised and confident performance of Fauré’s Fantasie. Laura Baker, a mezzo soprano and local girl from near Salcombe, gave a beautiful account of three Grieg songs. These were sandwiched between Music for a While by Purcell and the popular Jerome Kern piece Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man. Last but not least, Sakura Tanaka, just 15 years of age born in Tokyo, gave a technically brilliant display of violin playing. He played the 3rd and 4th movements of the Opus 94 Prokofiev Sonata with considerable aplomb, lyrical Andante followed by the heavily accented and rhythmical Allegro. He finished the whole concert with the beautiful tune of Grieg’s Solveig’s Sang arranged by Svendsen followed by the wonderful Wieniawski showpiece Scherzo Tarantella. He dazzled the audience with his nimble finger work in the most rapid passages and fully deserved the rapturous applause.

Enid Hayles

Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Thursday 21 June 2007

Academcy of Martins photo
Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Kenneth Sillito violin
Harvey de Souza violin [viola in the Mozart]
Robert Smissen viola
Stephen Orton cello
Lynda Houghton double bass
Barnaby Robson clarinet
Graham Sheen bassoon
Stephen Stirling horn


Gioacchino Rossini String Sonata No 1 in G major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Quintet in E Flat major for Horn and Strings, K. 407
Franz Schubert Octet in F, D803

Enthusiastic applause from a packed audience in St Peter’s Church, Shaldon, greeted the first concert of the four-day Shaldon Festival. The world famous Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble began their programme with a delightful account of Rossini’s String Sonata No 1 in G major. The charm and wit of the piece was beautifully conveyed with expressive phrasing and a delicate string sound. This was followed by Mozart’s Quintet in E Flat major for Horn and Strings. Stephen Stirling gave a flawless technical performance of this notoriously difficult piece for horn, ably accompanied by violin, two violas and cello. Undoubtedly the highlight of the evening was the performance of Schubert’s Octet, a stunning and exuberant work. From the opening bars of the imposing slow introduction of the first movement the audience knew they were in for a special treat. Brilliantly led by Kenneth Sillito, the playing throughout was exceptional achieving a remarkable ensemble and balance; eight pairs of acute ears obviously attuned to the collective sound they were making together.

Enid Hayles