The first Lunchtime concert of the Spring Term saw our Graduate Musician, Miss Emily Linane perform Sea Pictures by Edward Elgar, accompanied by Mr Peter Davis on the piano. Sea Slumber-Song was the opening song, its melody taking the voice both into the depths of its range and soaring into a powerful middle range which Miss Linane delivered beautifully. The effect of her crystal-clear diction, taking the time to place her consonants and the beguiling effect of gently lapping waves in the piano part captivated from the outset.
In Haven, the second song of the cycle, gave the impression of stillness, executed through Miss Linane’s sustained phrases, accompanied by something energised, a spritely ostinato accompaniment. These combined to give an impression much like the grace of a swan, combining elegance with purpose and determination.
Sabbath Morning at Sea, the third song, demanded perhaps the most technical control and nerve from the performers, the voice isolated at times over a tender, sparse accompaniment and then soaring over more full orchestral chords. As the text pondered the courage of voyagers facing adversity in the hope of great discovery, we, in the audience, hung on every phrase. The performance showed a clear poise and intent with the text, drawing us into the narrative.
Where Corals Lie, the fourth song, offered some light relief with an energetic off-beat accompaniment, interspersed with typical Elgarian moments of expression, the music swelling and pulling back in tempo. The Swimmer, the final song of the cycle, was delivered with great conviction, a confident, stirring anthemic melody as only Elgar could write. This song allowed Miss Linane to show off phrases with sustain and fullness, whilst in other places tenderly almost whispering, such as the evocative and memorable line ‘God surely loved us a little then’. Testament to Elgar’s enduring place in the hearts of music lovers, there was an amazing atmosphere at the conclusion of the concert, having moved and entertained those in attendance.