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Friday 10 Feb 2012

7:30 pm • Retiring collection

Croser-Hughes Award Winners

Universitiy of Surrey Competition Winners

Chamber music with piano

The winners and highly commended of the annual competition for the performance of chamber music with keyboard.

The competition always attracts a high standard of entry and exciting repertoire.

Mendelssohn, Rutter, Schubert, Gaubert & Lorber

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Molto allegro adagio from Trio, Op 49


Ostinato and Chanson from Suite Antique


De Hirt auf dem Felsen


Orientale from Deux esquisses


Tune 88


The annual visit by music students from the University of Surrey took place on Friday 10th February when Croser-Hughes Chamber Music Award winners presented a splendid concert of chamber works with piano. Despite a bitterly cold night an intrepid audience of some thirty people gathered to hear performances of superb skill from these youngsters, most, but not all, of whom played without professional accompaniment.

From amongst nine items with individual sonata movements by J.S.Bach, Saint-Saens and Mendelssohn and modern composers York Bowen and John Rutter and with smaller works by Rachmaninoff, Bartok and Liszt, it was difficult to judge which group might have been awarded First Prize as the standard of wind, string and piano playing was so high. However, consensus among the audience seemed to rate the first movement from Mendelssohn's D minor Piano Trio, op.49, very highly with pianist, violinist and cellist being outstanding in their musicianship and technical mastery. This in no way underrates the performance of smaller groups such as the clarinet and piano in Saint-Seans' extract, the flute and piano in Rutter's "Suite antique", the brilliant oboe tone from York Bowen's op.85 Sonata or the violin and piano duo in Bartok's "Rhapsody" movement coupled with the ever popular "Meditation" from Massenet's "Thais".

An interesting and unusual finale featured a jazz composition by Bill Evans (1929-1980), in which soprano sax, electric bass, piano and drum kit blend together in a lengthy improvisatory-type experience entitled "Time remembered". Written in 1962 this provided an opportunity for the four performers to 'let their hair down and get into the groove' with obvious relish on their part!

Our thanks goes to Clive Williamson, Head of Performance, and the University staff for arranging this concert for our mutual benefit - firstly providing the students another venue in which to perform and, secondly, enabling our Society to access young musical talent and the assurance that the future of live music making is in safe hands.

Peter B.