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Friday 24 January 2020

7:30 pm • Retiring collection

Guildford County School

Lower Strings Ensemble

Followed by AGM at 8:30 pm

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Before the Music Society`s AGM on the evening of Friday 24th January, we were entertained with a short recital by pupils from Guildford County School`s Lower Strings Ensemble. As their title implies, this programme consisted of a variety of works written or arranged for cellos and double basses, and within the constraints of these instruments we heard some very good playing from a selection of popular and classical works by these young musicians.

These pieces ranged from "Let it Be" by the Beetles, to Queen`s "Show Must Go On /I Want It All", and encompassed the B minor Prelude of Chopin, Scott Joplin`s "The Entertainer" and "The Elephant" from "The Carnival of Animals" by Saint-Saens among others. The latter is of course an ideal vehicle for the bass and was played with all the necessary exuberance ! . "The Entertainer" possessed a good bouncy rhythm, and mention must also be made of two solo cello works. The first of these was a "Saraband" by Handel played with excellent control and expressive tone , and the second, a fine rendering of the first movement from J.S.Bach`s first unaccompanied Cello Suite with clear articulation, rhythmic control and good intonation. Both these players were young women, but not to be outdone, the final cellist to play, with piano accompaniment, was a young man giving a very sensitive account of the ever popular "Vocalise" by Rachmaninov, with a fine melody line and phrasing throughout.

Altogether, this was a very enjoyable concert with which to precede the AGM where we then attended to the important business of discussing how best to uphold the standard of our concerts.