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!