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Music at Lunchtime | November

November brought another array of great Music at Lunchtime concerts.

Wednesday 6 November

Our lunchtime concert series returned after the half term break to a very varied programme running from Vivaldi to Prokofiev, with a few stops along the way.

Opening this week Bethany gave a beautiful rendition of Vivaldi's motet Nulla in Mundo pax sincera. Bethany performed all aspects of this piece with distinction from the lyrical lines of the opening aria through to technical challenges of the Recitative rounding off with the fast paced closing aria. Following Bethany we heard a trio of pianists: Hattie, performing the lyrical Papillion by Grieg; Lucy, followed with a dark and mysterious Prelude by Scriabin; and Samantha, finished it off with the appropriately name Ridicolosamente by Prokofiev. All three players demonstrated a great technical proficiency as well as exhibiting the differing moods of each piece. A great recital was enjoyed by all present! 

Wednesday 13 November

This week, Form 7 music scholar, William, performed a great recital of solo clarinet works. William began with two movements from Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet. The first movement is very lyrical and gentle, and showcases the lower register of the clarinet. The third movement is much more energetic and angular. William performed the challenging changes of time signature and atonality with great conviction and success.

We then heard the central movement of Mozart's Concerto in A major, K622. The movement has a lovely gentle and lyrical nature, enhanced by William's lovely phrasing and musicality.

The final piece was the opening movement from Poulenc's Clarinet Sonata. The piece is centered predominantly in the upper register of the clarinet. This required good breath control to produce a clear tone throughout. 

Well done, William.

Wednesday 20 November

This week we had our annual celebration of the talents of our Form 3 music award holders. As we have an eclectic combination of instrumental talents, today's recital was one of musical contrasts.

The concert opened with a popular renaissance dance by the German composer, Susato. La Mourisque was probably based on a popular dance tune of his day. The piece begins with a simple rhythmic ostinato which then moves through the ensemble, giving each player an opportunity in the spotlight.

The ensemble piece was followed by two solo pieces by Eddie, where he played the marimba with four mallets simultaneously. No small feat!

The next ensemble piece was John Cage's Living Room Music, for speech ensemble. Words and phrases are looped in repetitive patterns, creating percussive and melodic lines. Each pupil had to speak their part with conviction and confidence and the result was very effective.

The next two solos were by Ethan on the 'cello and Georgia on the cornet. Minsky's Truckin' through the South and Bizet's Chanson Bohème contrasted nicely and were very well played.

The concert finished with a final ensemble piece by Piazzolla, Libertango. The lively piece introduces many themes as the piece progresses, finishing with a lively tutti of the first theme.

Wednesday 27 November

Our November Music at Lunchtime concerts concluded with a programme of 20th Century English Art Songs, sung by tenor, Daniel.

Daniel began with the Three Shakespeare Songs by Roger Quilter: Come away, deathO mistress mine Blow, blow, thou winter wind. The three songs are very contrasting and require much musicality to execute them well. Daniel sang beautifully and successfully conveyed the stories within the songs.

The next two songs were from two different Vaughan Williams song cycles. Silent Noon is from The House of Life and is a romantic song about a couple spending time in a field, with the song narrating what it is like and how beautiful it is. The Vagabond is from Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel.

The recital concluded with Britten’s comic song, The foggy, foggy Dew, which is about a worker who kept his maid “from the foggy, foggy dew”, but the meaning of this is never revealed. 

Well done, Daniel, for your lovely singing.

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