Pupils’ Evening Recital

Wednesday 4th October 2023

After only three weeks of the Michaelmas Term, several of Marlborough’s established musicians performed an uplifting recital of solo works, accompanied by Clare Toomer and Hamish Brown. The repertoire spanned from CPE Bach and Henry Purcell to the avant-garde Malcom Arnold and Aram Ilyich Khachaturian.

Joshua T commenced the evening with a daring interpretation of Solfeggietto by CPE Bach followed by James B singing a solo version of The Lord Bless You and Keep You. It’s always refreshing to hear pupils perform at a musical level beyond their years and Camilla G was no exception with her poised and expressive performance of Debussy’s Réverie. I particularly enjoyed her musical phrasing. Grace M performed Hurlstone’s Sonata in F Major for Bassoon (1st Movement) with great technical control and musicality on an instrument seldom heard beyond the orchestral realms. Ben A then leant his character in a charismatic performance of Quilter’s O Mistress Mine. Josh T made his second appearance of the evening, this time on French horn, where he tackled Cooke’s Rondo – such a challenging piece – with expert execution.

We then heard Poppy G singing Purcell’s famous aria Dido’s Lament, followed by another French horn, this time Naomi R, performing a virtuosic and uplifting rendition of Mozart’s Horn concerto No. 2 (2nd Movement). It was thrilling to hear Olivia L giving her debut on the Mem Steinway and putting the piano through its paces with a vivid and poised performance of Khachaturian’s Toccata. A further French horn, Toby M, pushed the boundaries of this instrument with his punchy interpretation of Alan Abbott’s Alla Caccia. The penultimate performance of the recital saw Hoffmeister’s turbulent Concerto in D Major (1st Movement) given a spectacular outing by Lottie V, and finally Freddie V concluded the show with a vivid performance of Allegro con brio from Sonatina by Malcom Arnold. A huge thanks to all our performers – I really enjoyed hearing such refined playing for our first concert of the academic year!

Michael Butterfield
College Organist

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