The annual Music Scholars’ Gala Concert at the David Josefowitz Hall at the Royal Academy of Music is always a jolly affair, and this year was certainly no exception.
The concert focuses on the art of Chamber Music, which promotes, amongst other things, the need for good communication, collaboration, organisation and, in the final delivery, a performance not usually conducted or directed.
All of those necessary skills were admirably on display as the performers tucked into an eclectic mix of music to the delight of a packed house on Sunday 12th November.
The strings produced a vibrant start in Biber’s absurd Battle Suite, and the brass quartet followed with some impressive and intricate playing in Scheidt’s Canzon Cornetto. There was excellent ensemble in the percussion trio, a pleasing serenity and sophistication from the horn quartet and the saxophone quartet dazzled in Mike Caudill’s Cyclone.
There was also much to savour in the second half with some expressive playing in Krommer’s Adagio, a serious and intense account of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No.1, appropriate leggiero and intricacy in the Rorich Burleske, whilst the Bruch Trio was impressive in both lyricism and ensemble awareness.
The Compline Choir rounded out this memorable occasion with some excellent precision and musicianship conducted by Adam Meehan-Staines (Director of Chapel Music), not forgetting Jack Brown’s (Graduate Assistant) persuasive accompanying at various points throughout the evening.
Philip Dukes FGSM HonARAM