Oakham pianists give a fabulously festive Music at Lunchtime recital

We entered into the spirit of Christmas with yesterday’s lunchtime recital given by ten of Oakham’s pianists. Between them, they performed Richard Rodney Bennett’s Partridge Pie, a suite of twelve miniatures reflecting on each of the twelve days of Christmas, with some witty references to the popular rhyme. A composer steeped in the music of Jazz and film, Rodney Bennett’s Partridge Pie draws together a wide range of influences.

William  took to the piano first to play the haunting A partridge in a pear tree – lonely music with sparse accompaniment. ‘Two turtle-doves’ followed, cooing their melody together in thirds, sensitively played by Lucy , and then a boisterous trio of French hens, played with great contrasts by Luke. Languid music, next, Jazzy harmony, and the distinct call of the cuckoo in Four calling birds played by Samantha; and after this, Georgina drew sparkling and reflective sounds from the piano, in the Debussian Five gold rings. From Debussy to Copland with Six geese a-laying, played by Ryan with great humour, including the distinct sound of waddling geese; and then to Ravel in Seven swans a-swimming, a graceful waltz played by Morgan. William returned to the piano to perform Eight maids a-milking, perfectly capturing the busyness of a farmyard. An unmistakable portrayal of Nine drummers drumming, we heard the throb of the drum in Alexandra performance, followed by military procession music in Ten pipers piping played superbly by Beth. A sensitive performance of Eleven ladies dancing followed, a lilting waltz played by Natasha; and, finally, Alexandra returned for Twelve lords a-leaping, using the full range of the piano to complete the set with great panache.

Well done to all who performed. It was a stunning concert!

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