Concert reviews 2015

Cavaleri Quartet + Bart LaFollette cello – David Mintz

This Sunday afternoon concert on 13 September 2015 was the final one of the six-concert season which Concerts at Cratfield put on at the beautifully compact and very old St Mary’s church, just outside the village, throughout the summer months on a fortnightly basis.  The 2015 season has been an outstanding success, with a variety of interesting programmes, committed performances and enthusiastic audiences.  But perhaps the best of all was left until last Sunday with a mouthwatering programme… Read more…

Professor Roger Parker and the Badke Quartet – Jeremy Greenwood

Blyth Valley Chamber Music, the charity which presents Concerts at Cratfield, has as its object ‘ … to promote, improve, develop and maintain public education in and appreciation of the art and science of chamber music in all its aspects by the presentation of professional public concerts and by such other ways as the Society through its Committee of Trustees shall determine from time to time.’  Read more…

Aquinas Piano Trio + Sarah-Jane Bradley – Rachel Booth

This fourth concert in the Concerts at Cratfield 2015 season featured three works, all piano quartets and all new to Cratfield.  The first was Mozart’s Piano quartet in E flat (K493), the second of the composer’s piano quartets.  Mozart had invented the form, in which a viola is added to a piano trio (or a piano to a string trio, depending how you look at it), but abandoned the genre when his first piano quartet (in G minor K478) received a lukewarm reception in 1785 for being too difficult for domestic performance in the salon.  In contrast, at Cratfield in 2015, performed by the accomplished Aquinas Piano Trio with the first rate viola player, Sarah-Jane Bradley, the work was warmly received, and deservedly so.  Read more…

Navarra String Quartet – Lin Le Versha

On Sunday 2 August at St Mary’s Cratfield, the Navarra String Quartet gave us a technically brilliant and sensitive performance of three very different quartets across the twentieth century. Demonstrating the best of ensemble playing, they revelled in the challenging, tight rhythmic sections in all three pieces, while responding to the voice of each composer and to each musician’s solo moments.  Read more…

Gallicantus – Victor Scott

I have often wondered what it is that distinguishes English church music of the late Renaissance: what is it that sets it apart from the polyphonic lingua franca of the period across the rest of Europe? I have come to the conclusion that it might have something to do with ‘soul’. If the music of Palestrina, for example, is the music of angels – ethereal, cerebral, ascetic, of the spirit – then the sacred works of composers like Tallis and Byrd are somehow more concerned with earthier passions, grounded in man’s experience of divinity. They speak the language less of a distant and transcendent God than of a very human one, immediate and incarnate, who is embedded in our joys and sorrows.  Read more…

Visontay-Walton-Johnson Piano Trio – John Sims

This first concert in the new season, on Sunday 5 July 2015, was dedicated to the memory of Linda Holmes, the surviving Founder Patron of Concerts at Cratfield whose death earlier in 2015 followed only a few months after that of the other, her husband David, in 2014. Her memory has also been marked by a beautifully crafted and inscribed wooden bench by the south wall of the church, where attenders of the concerts and visitors to the church may sit and enjoy the view over the countryside.  Read more…