Friday, 5 January 2007

Musical plans

I have been inspired to look at the music crowding the shelves with a view to 2007's concert schedule. There are plenty of inherited scores there, from several generous sources, so idle searching always turns up something interesting. This evening's find was Dorothy Pilling's Vignettes. Three charming pieces, in a little book signed in 1957 by the composer herself when she gave it as a gift to my Dad's second cousin once removed, the wonderful Auntie Celia, who went to be with the Lord several years ago and is sorely missed by our family.

The Vignettes will slot very nicely in to a recital of British piano music from the last 100 years. This has been brewing for some time... Two pieces by Elgar, some waltzes by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, a Nocturne by Ivor Gurney and Eric Coates' London Suite will provide the romantic (dare I say cheesy?) crowd-pleasers. Then selections from Howell's Clavicord, the Sonata by my best friend (and best man) Nick Britton and the world premiere of Caroline Bosanquet's Suite (2006) will bring us a little more up-to-date in idiom. But not too avant garde - I don't want to scare the punters, or the pianist for that matter.

Spent a wonderful afternoon last week enjoying chamber music as it was intended to be enjoyed. In a room that could comfortably seat no more than 20 people; piano quintets by Franck, Dvorak and Hahn (sight-reading the latter two, which would have been hair-raising if I had any hair left); in a gathering of music teachers and professional string players. Hopefully that will lead to more of the same, and maybe I can even entice these more mature players onto the concert platform with me!

An Easter project is Ayo Bankole's Sonata No. 2, 'The Passion', paired with his Rhapsody on a Theme from Egun and something else tbc. Christian Heritage at the Round Church are always keen to have me give recitals (I did a history of the piano in 5 lunchtime concerts there in the summer, partly to force myself to practice something!) and the acoustic there is fabulous. Feels quite odd to be slotting in to a liturgical calendar, but we live and learn...

Also on the cards is a second recital with Mike, the expert violinist - Dvorak Sonatina, Brahms Sonata No. 1 and my Fantasy in G minor (a gap year product, shamelessly pseudo-romantic and lots and lots of notes). Trinity College chapel or thereabouts. I must confess to being pretty excited by it all.