Concert 3. Wed. 1 December 2010 8pm Print

SALLY PRYCE HARP ENSEMBLE

 

PROGRAMME

 

Francaix

Quintet (1934) [flute, harp & string trio]

Watkins

Suite [harp]

Falla

Selection from suite ‘Populaire Espagnole’ [cello & harp]

Debussy

Sonata [flute, viola & harp]

Roussel

Serenade [flute, harp & string trio]

Weber

Introduction & Variations [clarinet & string quartet]

Ravel

Introduction & Allegro [septet]

 

 

Formed in 2006, with their debut concert at the Wigmore Hall, this ensemble will showcase masterpieces of the harp chamber music repertoire. Based on the instrumentation of the famous Ravel Septet, our programme encompasses the full range from solo to septet giving opportunities for all the players to shine:  Oliver COATES (cello) in the Falla pieces, Sarah WILLIAMSON (clarinet ) in the Weber, Laura LUCAS (flute ) in the quintets, whilst Sally PRYCE herself plays the recent solo Suite by Huw Watkins.

 

“The music making was of the highest order and we were treated to something very special . . . MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL

 

“The lovely and well written Suite for Harp by Huw Watkins [was] played impeccably by Sally Pryce.”    EDWARD CLARK www.classicalsource.com 

         

 

Review of Concert

 

A Necessary Winter Warmer for the  Ilkley Concert Club

 

There are some pleasingly malicious stories of critics filing reviews of concerts that it later turns out they didn’t attend. I have no wish to join that dishonourable company, so let me state at the outset (as Poo Bah plaintively said when accused by the Mikado of mistakenly beheading the Heir Apparent) ‘I wasn’t there.’ And neither were very many others, in fact only one third of the expected full-house audience made it to the Hall. Severe snow in the wider locality prevented the rest, including me from attending. However colleagues of mine who are astute musicians were able to get there and so with the help of my ‘spies’ I can give some account of the event.

 

Fortunately the seven artists, coming up from London managed to arrive safely at the venue (in one case after a journey of nine hours). One after-effect of their draining journey was doubtless the rather subdued reading of the Françaix Quintet, but as the evening progressed their playing brightened noticeably. Hugh Watkins is a Welsh composer whose music, although clearly of our time is very approachable. Sally Pryce gave the first performance of his idiomatic Suite for Harp in 2006 and has since made it very much her own as her virtuosic performance demonstrated.

 

Falla’s Suite Populaire was played by Nicholas Bootiman (viola) with full Iberian ardour, ably supported by the harp, which often captured its Flamenco spirit better than the original piano part. In Debussy’s elusive Trio the viola and harp were joined by Nick Cartledge (flute). This is tricky music to bring off, seemingly episodic and evanescent in character; fragile and delicate in texture. Its composer remarked ‘I don’t know whether it should move us to laughter, or to tears, or both’. This performance brought out that ambiguity so well.

 

The Roussel Serenade has a more bracing French accent. The well-balanced playing projected its astringent harmonies and quirky rhythms with a delightful sense of fun. The Weber Introduction, Theme and Variations is a virtuoso piece for clarinet with string quartet. Sarah Williamson’s fearless performance showed her brilliant clarinet technique in the progressively accelerating music, but also demonstrated wonderful delicacy and tone in the pianissimos and the adagio variation.

 

The cunningly devised programme having just given us a rest from harp tone, ended with Ravel’s Introduction & Allegro. This is really a one-movement harp concerto in which the composer exploits all the tonal possibilities of the instrument, a real work-out for the soloist, and for the supporting players too. The performance brought a colourful evening to a triumphant conclusion. The weather-depleted audience left the King’s Hall feeling well pleased with their evening’s entertainment and grateful to the players for their heroic journey.    

 

G.K.

CLUB NOTES for 1 December 2010

 

GOOD VALUE!

I will be in London over Christmas, so I decided to book tickets for the Allegri Quartet in the first performance of the new quartet by Anthony Payne (he of the Elgar 3rd Symphony) at Kings Place, the arts venue behind St Pancras. Ticket prices are £18.50. At the Wigmore Hall, tickets for the Belcea Quartet are £22 and for the highly rated Emerson Quartet £30. All of which reminded me of the exceptional value for money offered by Ilkley Concert Club, especially for Season Ticket holders who pay an average of £6.34 per concert. (David Wharmby, Vice-Chairman)

 

PATRON'S DONATIONS

Last season we received gifts of £6,144 from Members. A substantial part of this came from the Patron's Donations that you make in order to qualify for priority booking of your Season Tickets. In quite a few cases Members made Patron's Donations of substantially more than the minimum, for which we are very grateful. In addition to the £6,144, we then recover tax (more than £1,400 last season) under the Gift Aid scheme. The total donations then amounted to about 20% of the Club's income, so you can see how very important it is for keeping our Season Ticket prices down.

 

SPONSORSHIP

For many years the first concert of each season has been sponsored by the Sanderson Weatherall company in Leeds. This season they felt unable to continue their sponsorship, but we are most grateful for their strong support in the past.

 

Aware of this change, several members had the idea that they might like to be involved with the part sponsorship of a concert, as has one of our current advertisers. The idea is still in its infancy. It would likely involve making a donation for a specific concert and recognition in that concert programme

(unless you preferred anonymity).

 

If any other members would like to explore this idea, please contact our Sponsorship Organiser, Richard Lorimer on 01943 603561 or by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it