Last week’s May concert presented a beautiful evening of music, striking not only for its high quality but also its diversity. The UVI and the LVI percussion ensembles began the evening with tightly-timed renditions of the funky ‘Smooth’ and then the disco classic ‘Beat it’. We were then treated to some stunning vocal solos.
Lucy’s assured account of Fauré’s ‘Les roses d’Ispahan’ was all the more impressive as a debut singing performance: Lucy is one of our most versatile musicians and has more often been heard as a harpist, percussionist or pianist, and indeed she took her place at the keyboard later in the evening with a stirring presentation of Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 13 in C minor (‘Pathétique’).
Anastasia then gave us the perfect song for an English summer’s evening: Quilter’s ‘Now sleeps the crimson petal’, performed with real feeling and delight. Olivia then revealed the lyrical and nostalgic side of the alto saxophone in her lovely rendition of Elgar’s ‘Chanson de matin’.
Valeria followed, with a showstopping account of Weill’s wistfully romantic ‘What good would the moon be?’: her version was truly compelling and her extended pause on a top G was deeply affecting.
It was then time for the ironically named UVI band – ‘Mediocre at best’ – to step up and give us a beautifully-blended version of Vance Joy’s ‘Georgia.
Finally, the Chapel Choir, in particularly fine voice, took to the stage to sing us out with Rutter’s ‘The Lord bless you and keep you’, a touching and warm account of the spiritual ‘Goin’ up a-yonder’ and they brought the evening to a beautiful close with Fauré’s much-loved ‘Cantique de Jean Racine’.
Congratulations to all the performers: this was an outstanding concert.