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Sunday 4 Feb 2018

3:00 pm • Retiring collection

University of Surrey Showcase Concert

A concert from a selection of outstanding University of Surrey music students

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A concert from a selection of outstanding University of Surrey music students

Students perform in a range of ensembles in this Instrumental Assessment Showcase concert.


Sunday afternoon 4th February saw the first of the season`s visit by students from the University of Surrey. In their "Instrumental Music Showcase" we heard young musicians who are in years one, two, three and beyond, in their progression towards graduation.

Well spaced throughout the very well attended programme we heard three pianists, the first of whom sat down and immediately, without drawing breath, launched into a lesser known piece of Grieg from his "Lyric Pieces" Op.65. entitled "From early Years" and which in places was reminiscent of his" Wedding Day". Perhaps a little more variety of tone would have improved this performance, and would have enhanced also the second pianist`s rendering of Debussy`s second Arabesque which was rather heavy and a little hasty in places. However her second piece "La soiree dans Grenade" from the same composer`s "Estamps" was played with great atmospheric sensitivity and conjured up the Spanish scene admirably. The last pianist who concluded the programme, broke the serious mould and gave a very convincing and relaxed version of Gershwin`s own arrangement of , "The man I Love" and "I got Rhythm" which probably sent the audience home in a jaunty frame of mind.

Two singers of "Masters" standard gave first class rendering of their chosen pieces, The first, a soprano got well deserved acclamation for her hilarious portrayal of "Hello Margaret, it`s you" from Menotti`s 1947 "The Telephone" and as a complete contrast a very sensitive account of Dvorak`s "Song to the Moon" which ably showed her considerable vocal range.

The second singer, a baritone, from a far eastern country, gave an outstanding performance of "Non Piu andrai" from Mozart`s "Le nozze di Figaro" and then Schumann`s "Widmung", highly contrasting music, but nevertheless well within the range of his ability. Altogether, the quality of his voice, demeanour, and presentation were outstanding.

A young clarinetist gave an excellent performance of two movements from "Dance Preludes for Clarinet and Piano" by Witold Lutoslawski ; firstly an exciting "Allegro Molto" with good rhythmic control, and with very nice tonal colouring in the "Andantino" which followed.

Balancing up the programme instrumentaly required two items featuring string players, and these were provided by a very competent violinist playing Kreisler, and a fine young guitarist playing Villa Lobos. "Praeludium and Allegro" received a somewhat flamboyant rendering of the Kreisler by a very strong player who produced admirable gravitas for the first part but perhaps the Allegro didn`t quite dance along as much as it should have done. The two Etudes for guitar written in 1929 by Villa Lobos were portrayed by a most unassuming young man who produced clear articulation and a most pleasing tone from this most difficult instrument when played in the classical finger style mode. It was certainly most gratifying to hear from the applause that the audience appreciated the work that is involved in mastering this most introspective of instruments.

As is usual with these university recitals, all the piano accompaniments were provided by the highly esteemed Dr.Maureen Galea who as usual did a sterling job in co-ordinating yet another highly successful concert.