We heard late on Wednesday that The Korros Ensemble are unable to give their recital on Saturday.
Despite the very short notice I am delighted to let you know that we have arranged a recital by Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and John Lenehan (Piano).
Details of the concert together with the programme are below which we hope you agree is very appealing. We have been thinking for some time that we ought to have a saxophonist so although we are sorry about the sudden change we are confident that Huw Wiggin and John Lenehan will give us a superb recital.
Commonwealth Musician of the Year, First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2014 Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, Huw Wiggin is one of the most popular saxophonists of his generation.
Huw studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, before gaining a Master’s Degree with Distinction in 2012 from the Royal College of Music. He is now professor of saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has given master classes at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chetham’s School of Music, NAFA in Singapore and the Universities of Calgary and Lethbridge in Canada. He has also been on the judging panel for major competitions including the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition.
With more than 70 albums to his credit, reflecting an enormous variety of genres and styles, John Lenehan ranks as one of the most versatile pianists on the classical scene today. Praised by the New York Times for his “great flair and virtuosity” and the (London) Times for “a masterly recital”, Lenehan has appeared in concerts throughout the World from Abu Dhabi to Zurich and from Aberdeen to Zimbabwe.
As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras such as the London Symphony at the Barbican and the Royal Philharmonic in the Royal Albert Hall. He has also collaborated with some of the leading instrumentalists of our time and is recognised as an outstanding and versatile chamber musician.
Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
Music societies around the UK have long been able to benefit from young musicians who have been sponsored by charitable organisations dedicated to the development of artists at the outset of their performing careers. This legacy has enabled concert promoters to devise concert seasons that include such award holders, thereby easing to some degree their financial constraints.
One such organisation is the Countess on Munster Trust which for many years has funded further study and concert fees for young artists.
Whitstable Music Society was able to take advantage of this scheme for their last concert when it hosted the exciting young violinist Emmanuel Bach. He is a graduate from Oxford and The Royal College of Music and is rapidly showing himself to be a bright hope amongst British string players.
His talent, depth of musical perception and knowledge were well in evidence across a wide repertoire. Thus, in Bach’s exposed and challenging unaccompanied Sonata in A minor, BWV 1003, the textural clarity and sense of phrase structure revealed a mind fully aware of early music performing practice. The affecting delicacy of the slow movements were off set by the energy and rhythmic direction of the long fugue and final Allegro movements.
All the wide contrasts of mood and colour in Beethoven’s G major Sonata were clearly pointed. Here, Mr. Bach was more than ably accompanied by Jenny Stern, a pianist of extensive experience at this level. This work is very much a duo of equal partners and the shared understanding of the protagonists was palpable to all.
After the interval the audience was introduced to the Sonata No. 3 by an unknown composer from Russia named Lera Auerbach. This one movement piece had a variety of moods which were expertly dispatched with an obvious sense of involvement.
The more demanding Sonata (1917) by Claude Debussy, in which the composer makes conscious use of the great heritage of French compositions from the 17th and 18th centuries, received a colourful and cogent reading with, once again, a high level of ensemble and shared musical understand from both performers.
A delightful evening closed with Ysaye’s Caprice on a piano etude by Saint-Saens. The Belgian composer Ysaye was one of the foremost violin virtuosos of his time and his violin works, in particular his six unaccompanied sonatas are regarded as the ideal response to those by J.S. Bach. The delightful Caprice focusses on unbridled violin virtuosity and fun, the combination of which Emmanuel Bach cleared revelled, bringing a delightful evening to a rousing conclusion.
Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
J.S. Bach: Solo Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003 (1720)
The unaccompanied opening piece was the perfect introductory showcase for the soloist’s technical mastery. From the large leaps in register obvious in the first bars to the lyrical simplicity of the third movement, we were reminded of Bach’s unique music: full of challenges and creative possibilities, so well captured in tonight’s rendition of the sonata.
Beethoven: Sonata No.8 in G. Op.30 No.3 (1802)
The well-versed dialogue violin-piano is evident throughout the piece, from the Allegro assai in 6/8 time to the light-hearted Allegro vivace finale. The musicians captured the tempestuous or the more delicate passages with suitably balanced aplomb.
Lera Auerbach: Sonata No.3 (2006)
The mournful introductory notes by piano are soon followed by delicate sounds and elegiac violin tones. A mixture of contemporary sound and familiar reverberations, the soaring harmonics skillfully captured the mystery of a less known piece.
Debussy: Sonata in G minor
Premiered a year before Debussy’s death (with the composer himself on the piano), the intricate and subtle mixture of moods and emotions that exude from the entire piece have expressed the intended melancholic theme.
Ysaÿe: Caprice, d'après L'Étude en Forme de Valse, Op.52, No.6 Saint- Saëns (1901)
Extravagant and mischievous, the piece was often played by the composer himself. This evening’s duo showcased convincingly Ysaÿe’s masterful arrangement in a lively and subtle performance.
Overall, Emmanuel Bach and Jenny Stern delighted the receptive audience with a rich and diverse repertoire spanning three centuries.