Regular readers of this column, should they exist, will have noticed from elsewhere on our website that we have our Autumn Recital series of concerts coming up next month, occasions which everyone hopes will be suitably auspicious for all concerned. The details of those two concerts are available on our “November 2010” tab, but I mention them here for the reason that I intend this to be my last post at least until the concerts are over. Preparing for and promoting the concerts are substantial tasks which require and deserve as much attention as possible; time spent planning and writing these columns would necessarily distract from this. In any case it shall do us all no harm for the creative well to be replenished.
Most of the programme I have written about in previous posts. We open with the Telemann Viola Concerto; starting off with a solo might well be a daunting responsibility for me, but the piece has such a wonderful sun-coming-up feel to it that the beginning is its rightful place. In any case I shall be ably assisted by the ensemble. The Beethoven Romance is a sumptuous work for solo violin, occasionally tempestuous but in such a way that never threatens to defeat the prevailing mood of placid lyricism. I have no doubt Adam will do it justice. The Corelli Christmas Concerto is a staple of the early music repertoire – and of our concert programmes as well – and always a pleasure to play. The second half begins with the third Mozart quartet in G, one of the finest examples of the gentle perfection for which the composer is known. The latest item on the programme is the first movement of the Brahms Cello Sonata No.1, which I expect Michael to render with characteristic panache. The piece itself is one of those stirring nineteenth century works which somehow manages to convey a complete narrative in the space of a single opening movement, a dark and impassioned exposition progressing through an intense development to a gloriously serene conclusion. Although I am sure that the remaining movements are an equivalent delight, one is never conscious of being disadvantaged by only hearing one of them. The final item, as promised, is the Haydn Quartet in F Minor, Opus 20 No.5 , which like the Brahms starts from a troubled place but unlike it finds an altogether less satisfying – but no less emphatic – resolution at the end of a journey whose ultimate terminus remains uncertain until what is almost literally the bitter end.
One hopes however that our audience will be wholly without bitterness at the end of our concert season. These are great works which deserve a respectful hearing, but also a professional performance, which is what we aim to provide. To that end this column will remain dormant for the foreseeable future. It has been a great pleasure to produce it, and hopefully it will prove an even greater one to translate words into action in a few weeks time.