The Sunderland Pianoforte Society presented an attractive and demanding programme last Tuesday. The pianist was Harry Nowakowski-Fox, a Young Steinway Artist who has won a number of prizes, including the grand prize at the Windsor International Piano Competition. He commenced with Schumann’s Kinderszenen (“Scenes from Childhood”), a set of short pieces which are not for children, but are an adult’s recollection of childhood, for adults to play. The recital continued with a spirited performance of Sonata Opus 53 by Beethoven, dedicated to his friend Count Waldstein. A high degree of technical dexterity is required to play this sonata, and Harry was well able to demonstrate this, and to produce a considerable range of dynamics and sonorities from the piano, making for a most effective performance.
The first piece after the interval was Chopin’s Fantaisie in F minor which has an unusual design, as befits a fantasy, and the contrasts were well-handled. The final work in the programme was more Schumann: Kreisleriana Opus 16. Kreisler was a fictional character, an eccentric conductor who found consolation at the piano. Harry Nowakowski-Fox gave a thoughtful treatment of this set of pieces, bringing out the various moods of the eight movements, and maintaining interest throughout. As an encore he played again the best known piece from Kinderszenen: Träumerei (“Dreaming”). Harry is an exciting pianist; it will be well worth following his career as it develops.
Our next recital will be on Tuesday 14 March at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist is Harry Nowakowski-Fox who will be playing
Beethoven: Sonata Op.53 (Waldstein)
Chopin: Fantasie in F minor Op.49
Tickets at the door are £12.50. (Free for accompanied children 16 & under; £6.00 for full time students and those on unemployment benefit)
Valentine’s Day was celebrated in style at Sunderland Museum when the Pianoforte Society presented a recital by brilliant young British pianist Maria Marchant, who entertained an appreciative audience with an evening of romantic music. The recital started with a selection of well loved lyric pieces by Grieg to be followed by Liszt transcriptions of Schubert songs. Then we heard the Liszt Petrarch sonnet 104 from “Deuxième Année: Italie”. The first half ended with Spanish music; we had Granados “The Maiden and the Nightingale” and Albeniz “Sevilla”. After the interval Glinka’s “L’Alouette” was followed by pieces from Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”. We then heard Debussy’s “La Cathédrale Engloutie” and Brahms’ Intermezzo Op. 117 No.1. The recital ended with Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata which was played with great style and authority, but the audience was wanting more and Maria played Holst’s “Northumbrian Pipes” which made for a very good end to the evening.
Maria made her Wigmore Hall and South Bank debut in 2010 and has since been in great demand throughout Britain and abroad. As a passionate advocate of British music, Maria gave the world premiere performance of “Goodwood by the Sea”, a new solo piano work by Roderick Williams written for Maria and commissioned by the Shipley Arts Festival, where she is pianist in residence. Maria is also involved with chamber music and is recording her debut CD for SOMM records for international release in 2017.
Our next recital will be on Tuesday 14 February at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist is Maria Marchant, who will be playing a programme of popular works to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Grieg: Lyric Pieces: Op. 12 No. I Arietta; Op. 43 No. I Butterfly
Grieg: Slåtter: Op. 72 No. IV Halling aus dem Hügel
Grieg: Lyric Pieces: Op. 47 No. VII Elegy; Op. 65 No. VI Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
Schubert/Liszt: Schwanengesang: IV Am Meer; X Liebesbotschaft
Liszt: Années de pèlerinage (Deuxième Année: Italie): Sonetto 104 del Petrarcha
Granados: Goyescas – Los Majos Enamorados: IV Qujas ó la Maja y el Ruiseñor
Albeniz: Suite espagnole: Op. 47 No I – Sevilla
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Ten Pieces for Piano Op. 75): VII Friar Laurence; VIII Mercutio
Debussy: Préludes: X La cathédrale engloutie
Brahms: Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1 in E flat major
Beethoven: Sonata Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight’: I Adagio sostenuto; II Allegretto; III Presto agitato
Sunderland Pianoforte Society continued their 74th season with a concert which was given by pupils of David Murray and local piano teacher, Eileen Bown. The concert was given in the Pottery Room at Sunderland Museum and was well attended by members and proud parents as well as families who enjoyed an evening of superb music given by pianists of varying ages ranging from Flint Shepherd who is 6 years old to mature performers. The aim of the Society is to encourage the study of piano playing and this was certainly done on Tuesday evening with the help of David Murray who introduced the pianists.
The evening began with 6 year old Flint Shepherd who played a Prelude by Hummel, and this was followed by Ciaran Leahy playing “Staccato Beans” by Tan Dun. This was followed by James Barker playing “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and then Louis Scott played “Cruella de Vil”. These four young pianists not only played well but are to be congratulated on their stage presence and appearance. We then heard Icy Wong playing Chopin’s Nocturne in D flat op.27 no.2 with great sensitivity to be followed by William Horseman playing Rachmaninov Prelude in B minor op.32 no.10. Amy Baker then played the first movement of Sonata in D minor op.31 no.2 by Beethoven and the first half of the evening ended with Tom Yang playing 3 movements from the Children’s Corner Suite by Debussy. After the interval during which mince pies and wine were enjoyed Nicole Lau played the Prelude and Fugue in G major by Bach and was followed by Victoria Robinson who played Debussy: Pagodes from Estampes and Saint Saens Etude en forme de Valse, played with great polish and style. Amy Baker made a welcome return to play Cadiz by Albeniz and was followed by a lively performance of Toccatina by Kapustin given by Alan Coxon. The concert ended with a performance of the famous Rhapsody in C by Dohnanyi given by William Horseman.
It is encouraging to hear these talented young pianists, some of whom will be going on to have professional careers and the Society wishes them every success. Many thanks go to David Murray and Eileen Bown for all their hard work in producing such a good evening.
On Tuesday 13th December there will be an additional concert by young pianists of our area to commemorate the work of our late Chairman, Laurie Giles, in this field and to celebrate their developing talent. The majority of these young people have been tutored by David Murray and Eileen Bown, well known for their musical work in the area. The recital will be at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. Admission is £5.
Lovers of classical music were treated to an excellent concert on Tuesday evening at the Sunderland Pianoforte Society, in the Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist was Ashley Fripp, making a very welcome return visit to the Society. The first half of the programme consisted of two contrasting sonatas – opus 10 no.3 in D major by Beethoven and opus 14 in D minor by Prokofiev. Ashley took full advantage of the piano’s dynamic range to express the differing moods of the various sonata movements. His performances of both works were powerful, but delicate where the music demanded.
The second half of the recital was devoted to Rachmaninov Preludes – the set of ten forming opus 23, preceded by the well known prelude in C sharp minor (opus 3 no.2). Ashley Fripp has a formidable technique allied to a deep understanding of the pieces he is playing. He was able to establish good rapport with the audience, and gave us a sensitive and altogether satisfying recital, with a Chopin mazurka as an encore.
Our next recital will be on Tuesday 22 November at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist is Ashley Fripp, making a welcome return visit. His programme is
Beethoven: Sonata Op. 10 No. 3
Prokofiev: Sonata No. 2
Rachmaninov: Prelude Op. 3 No 2; Preludes Op. 23
(photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
Our next recital will be on Tuesday 18 October at 7.15 pm in the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The pianist is Mishka Rushdie Momen, who is supported by the Countess of Munster Trust; her programme is
Mozart: Fantasia in C minor K475
Janacek: Sonata I.X.1905
Beethoven: Sonata Op. 101
Schumann: Waldszenen Op. 82
Schubert: Wanderer Fantasie D.760