Review: Evening Pupils’ Recital

Thursday 1 October 2015

A little earlier in the Michaelmas Term than was either expected or usual due to the later date of the annual London Gala Concert (November), the Evening Pupils’ Recital began the feast of musical performances scheduled for the year ahead.

Always up for a challenge to make ready, the pupils’ preparation and delivery was impressive throughout in a varied and thoroughly entertaining programme of ambitious music making.

Helena Mackie is a firmly established member of the National Youth Orchestra these days and she opened proceedings with an accomplished and moving rendition of Strauss’s magnificent Oboe Concerto (2nd movement), setting the tone (quite literally) for what followed.  Not a weak link amongst them: a brave and increasingly robust performance from cellist Luke Smith, a fine, controlled and passionate dose of Kreisler from violinist Ciara Parker-Northeast, some wonderfully projected flute playing from Finn Kverndal,  an extraordinarily confident and well prepared display on marimba from Florence Tuckey, a dreamy romance from flautist James Eyles, swashbuckling and exciting rhythm from the Percussion Quartet, exquisite control, detail and pure class from flautist Sarah Mattinson (as always), a moving and stirring Pie Jesu (Andrew Lloyd Webber) from vocalists Tertia Paterson and Lucy Hudson and to round this remarkable evening off, an astonishing and quite brilliantly delivered performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’s beguiling and persuasive Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso from the outstanding Lizzie Daniels on violin.

Someone asked me recently why musicians need to practise – the answer is simple: in order to master the instrument to the level of some of tonight’s players it is impossible to achieve anything without hours of it.  Bravo.

Philip Dukes
Artistic Director

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