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Friends of Sidholme Music Room

War Embers on 25th November 2018

By Roger Hendy Friends of Sidholme Music Room

Monday, 26 November 2018

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Another ’treasure’ of a concert at Sidholme.

 It was with considerable pleasure that I attended a concert at Sidholme Music Room on Sunday 25th November. ‘A treasury of song and solo piano’ was presented by Alec Poulton – baritone and Valentina Seferinvoa – piano by invitation of the Friends of Sidholme.

A capacity audience enjoyed a most imaginatively constructed programme reflecting compositions conceived in or around the First World War. Singing with absolutely assuredness and beautiful tone, Alec was exquisitely accompanied by Valentina. This was truly an exceptional concert delivered to a high professional standard which enthralled the audience throughout. The young trumpeter Hetty Christopher also contributed brilliantly to the programme playing with mature, well-rounded tone.

There were numerous highlights including rarely heard short songs by Fararr and Somervell, as well as more familiar ones by Vaughan Williams (‘Linden Lea’) and George Butterworth (‘The lads in their hundreds’ and ‘Is my team ploughing?’). These were interspersed with some beautifully delivered Tchaikovsky songs as well as ‘Troika’ from the composer’s suite ‘The Seasons’ for solo piano which was particularly enchanting. The inclusion of some delightful French thematic material brought a wonderful contrast to the programme which the artists presented effortlessly with great character and fine articulation. Valentina’s presentation of Debussy’s ‘Claire de Lune’ was magically delivered with eloquent phraseology and well-chosen dynamics.

There was silent reflection after the Butterworth with the addition of some perfect off-stage solo trumpet calls before the concert continued with two lighter Novello renditions. The prolonged and enthusiastic applause by the audience brought this concert to a fitting conclusion.

Roger Hendy.

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Stephen Low

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Sidholme Music Room, Elysian Fields, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8UJ

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friendsofsidholmemusicroom@mail.com