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Reactions from our Audience

An experienced concert-goer and lover of Brahms’s music gave his thoughts on the recent recital by the Aronowitz concert
on Sunday 13 August 2017

My first ever LP was the Brahms Piano Quintet, my second was the first Symphony, and one of the next after that was the two cello sonatas on an old Naxos  recording which was amazingly sonorous for its day. There are works I have loved all my life – Desert island choices ! But hardly the sort of music which is expected to ‘grab’ a ten year old boy! I have never been on the same wavelength as Beethoven’s idiom. His music means relatively little to me:  it is too ‘bombastic’, and it is basically simple compared with the wonderful sophistication of Brahms, and by comparison is lacks cross-rhythms which play such a big part in Brahms’s music. Brahms may have felt in the shadow of Beethoven, but in my view he owes more to JS Bach than to Beethoven as the roots of his music are classical. If you told me that Bach was the greatest composer who ever lived I would not try to disagree but not Beethoven please! Brahms’s music is not ‘brown and turgid’. You need to listen to Brahms more than once to get the best out of it. Nowadays there are masses of so-called music lovers who want and expect to get instant gratification – but Brahms doesn’t offer it. My long held description of Brahms also uses the word brown but in an approving manner – “rich dark brown” – like French-polished furniture, so fashionable at the time he was composing ! It is full of pathos and vibrant romanticism – and of the German variety. In my view Brahms’ stands on his own feet – no propping up from anybody – as one of the very greatest composers of all time. And even if I know that JSB was the greater figure I still hold Brahms in a hugely special place in my life!

Best wishes, William Wickham

14 August 2017

An impromptu response to the Aronowitz concert
on Sunday 13 August 2017

Hello Pauline: I am just writing to say how much we enjoyed the concert just now, a view that was shared by the people sitting next to us. It was the first time we have been to one of your concerts and we were extremely impressed; not only with the performance but also the standard of organisation and also the delicious tea and cake!

Best regards, Bill Irving

14 August 2017

An impromptu response to the Chroma concert
Sunday 30 July 2017

A brilliant performance; thank you and the team and the Trio. I  arrived with a little uncertainty, not knowing the music and never sure about the harp. However, I thought it was an afternoon to celebrate; I wish I could hear the performances again, enhanced by the rapt attention from the audience where the intense silence and refusal to “bravo” in the middle of pieces added to the mood. I was very impressed by the interaction between the musicians and the subtleties and intricacies of the music itself, especially the Ibert and the Renie. Surely Radio 3 would welcome an occasional summer outing to Cratfield so that a wider audience could listen as well ?

Thanks again, Mike Simmons

2 August 2017