SECOND SATURDAY RECITALS
The third season of 'Second Saturday Recitals at St Mary's' launched on 9 September in the beautiful Hertfordshire village of Welwyn with a recital by Alla Kravchuk (soprano) and Oksana Germanchuk (piano). These Ukrainian artists presented a moving programme of songs and solo piano music for a highly appreciative audience of 105 people.
These varied programmes of instrumental and vocal chamber music are of professional standard and are now attracting a loyal following. They last one hour and are open to all to attend free, with a retiring collection for church funds.
On Saturday 14 October we had the welcome return of the Cambridge Chamber Ensemble. This group was established in Cambridge in 2008 to bring together established 'pros' with 'rising stars'. There is no fixed line-up and, for this concert, we heard Stephen Foster on violin and Dietrich Bethge on cello. The outstanding young Ukrainian/Russian pianist Anastasia Matkovskaia was scheduled to appear, but a delay by the UK Home Office in renewing her visa made this impossible. She was replaced at short notice by Elizabeth Altman – who, incidentally, will be coming to give us a solo recital on 9 December (see below).
Forthcoming dates for ‘Second Saturday Recitals’ are
11 November: Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman return to play music for piano four hands. They have recently made commercial recordings of all the Beethoven symphonies in piano-four hands arrangements for the SOMM label. These have received glowing reviews in the BBC Music Magazine and other media. They will bring us Symphony 8 and Schubert’s monumental Fantasy in F minor for four hands piano. They will no doubt have with them some of their Beethoven symphonies CDs for anyone interested in buying them.
9 December: Elizabeth Altman, renowned British pianist and teacher, makes a rare appearance to give a piano recital. Elizabeth made her concert debut at the age of six and went on to win the BBC Piano Competition as a teenager, before embarking on a long career as pianist, conductor and teacher, She has made many appearances on television and at festivals including Aldeburgh and Leeds. Her programme will include Scarlatti Sonatas, Rachmaninov Preludes and Chopin’s B flat minor Scherzo.