Concert 6 - Wednesday 15 March 2017 at 8pm Print

Please note change of Artist and programme

PHILIP DUKES          





Unfortunately Maxim Rysanov 

has injured his shoulder and is 

unable to play for us. We wish 

him a full and speedy recovery. 


Our pianist, Katya Apekisheva

recommended Philip Dukes  

('Great Britain's most outstanding 

solo viola player - The Times') 

and we are delighted to have

been able to secure his services.




The revised programme is as follows:    

Schumann     Adagio and Allegro, Op.70                  
Chopin  Impromptus No.1, Op.29 and No.2, Op.36    
Schubert  Arpeggione Sonata, D821 
Britten       Lachrymae, Op.48      
Brahms  Viola Sonata Op.120/1 in F minor




Viva the viola at the Ilkley Concert Club


Pity the poor viola player! – treated by other orchestral players as a failed violinist and the butt of their wickedest jokes. No wonder there are so few solo violists on the concert stage – Ilkley Concert Club was lucky to have Philip Dukes to replace the injured Maxim Rysanov in this concert of music for viola and piano.


As he pointed out in one of his lively introductions, the instrument also suffers from a lack of repertoire before the twentieth century. Earlier repertoire consists largely of arrangements, in this case works by Schumann and Brahms for clarinet and piano and the Schubert sonata in A minor, D821, written for the ungainly and little-mourned arpeggione.


This work is often played by cellists but Philip Dukes and Katya Apekisheva (piano) made a convincing argument for the supremacy of the viola in this sonata. The balance between the two was excellent and the virtuosity of both players contributed to a thrilling account, particularly of the closing allegretto.


Immediately before this Katya Apekisheva had given sparkling performances of Chopin's first two impromptus, with feather-light articulation in the right hand and sumptuous tone from the left hand, especially in the nocturne-like opening of the second impromptu.


Britten's Lachrymae of 1950 was the only piece written for the viola, a set of variations on a Dowland song. Here Philip Dukes showed complete mastery and met every technical demand with ease but listening to it was, for your reviewer, a curiously un-engaging experience.

In the Brahms F minor sonata which concluded the programme, as with the Schumann that began it, there were problems of balance. The piano writing was at times so dense and its sound so strong that the viola was inaudible towards the bottom of its range. One missed the distinctive timbre of the clarinet which allows it to be heard in such passages. Nevertheless the players gave a rapturous account of the exquisite slow movement of the Brahms and received the usual warm Concert Club appreciation for their efforts.



The following recordings were recommended in the concert programme



A useful disc containing Schumann's complete arrangements for Viola and Piano comes from Brilliant Classics 94487 (budget price). The artists are Lorenzo Falconi (viola) and Sara Bacchini (piano).



Louis Lortie is working his way through Chopin for Chandos, and the third volume has attracted high praise (Chandos CHAN 10813 full price). As well as the Impromptus the disc contains a selection of Nocturnes and Piano Sonata no 3. As an alternative the incomparable Arthur Rubinstein performs the complete Waltzes and Impromptus on RCA 09026630472 (upper-budget price).

Brahms and Schubert

Tabea Zimmerman (viola) and Kirill Gerstein (piano) are the superb performers on this well recorded CD from Myrios Classics-MYR008 (full price). The convenient coupling is the Viola arrangement of Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata.


The Lachrymae is performed by Martin Outram (viola) and Julian Rolton (piano) on an interesting CD from Nimbus-Alliance NI 6253 (full price). The couplings are Frank Bridge's Pensiero, and arrangements for viola and piano of 'There is a Willow grows aslant a Brook' and the Violin Sonata. Britten's Portrait no 2 and Reflections accompany the Lachrymae. Should you prefer the version with chamber orchestra, Philip Dukes is the soloist with the Northern Sinfonia conducted by Steuart Bedford. The disc is from Naxos 8.557205 (medium price), and the other Britten works are Simple Symphony, Temporal Variations, A Charm of Lullabies, and A Suite on English Folk Themes.
Raymond Waud.


Club Notes for this Concert



Ilkley Concert Club thanks all the local businesses that advertise in our concert programmes. Many of them have supported us for a number of years, helping to pay for the production of our excellent programmes. Each advertiser provides a local service of high quality and great convenience. In turn, I hope that we, the ICC audience, will take every opportunity to support them by shopping locally.

MEMORABLE CONCERTS — Alessandro Taverna's comments

'I still keep fond memories of time spent in Ilkley . . . First of all, the warmth of the people involved in the society and the excellent organization. What was really extraordinary was . . . the perfect acoustic of the King's Hall and the superb brand new C-Steinway [that] put me immediately at ease. Then the evening surprise came, with an audience of approximately 500 people who occupied the hall in every grade: it clearly tells how much the members and the people in Ilkley care about these concerts and at the same time the efforts rewarded to build such a competent and attentive public. Also the printed programme deserves praise, with its excellent programme notes, the excellent layout and a personally much appreciated temporal indication of the last performance of every piece at ICC.'


I should add that the superb Vienna Piano Trio told their agent that ICC is 'a hidden gem'. For Chris Skidmore's review of their concert see the Ilkley Gazette or open and click on Concert Reviews.


The slow movement played so beautifully by the Vienna Piano Trio at the end of the last concert was the andante con moto from Brahms Piano Trio no 2 op 87 in C minor. I have conflicting views about encores: sometimes they provide an amusing or entrancing full stop, but there is also a danger that an encore can wipe from the memory the experience of a masterwork such as the Schubert sonata. However, since the concert I've been invaded by very welcome earworms labelled Schoenberg and Schubert, so that did not happen. It also introduced me to a piano trio that I had never heard.

As you know we had problems with the coffee service at the last concert. Mark and Joe, the lads who organise this for us have been exceptionally reliable, so their absence took us by surprise; it was caused by confusion about the concert date. I was proud of the numerous people who rallied round in the half hour before the concert, and afterwards so that we could at least provide a service downstairs. Please use any Coffee and Tea tickets that you have for future concerts.
David Wharmby (ICC Chairman)