Videos

Splinter (Luchinushka) folk song

Daria Robertson (soprano) with Zhanna Kemp. Sussex Musicians Club concert at Brighton Unitarian Church June 2018.

Audio recordings

DateWorkArtistsmp3
13th October, 2018Debussy: Danseuses de Delphe; Reverie; La Cathedrale Engloutie; Arabesque no. 2Joe Ward (piano)Play
13th October, 2018Malcolm Arnold: Beauty Walks the Woods at Night Spohr: Sei still mein Herz; Wiegenlied; Das heimliche Lied Arnold Cooke:The Echoing Green (from Blake Songs of Innocence Experience) Arthur Bliss: The Ragwort; The Dandelion Terence Greaves: A Garden of Weeds: Buttercup, Poppy,Thistle, Belladonna, Nettle Mozart: Don Giovanni: In quali' eccessi, o numi, Mi tradi quel' anima ingrataSue Mileham, Nicola Grunberg, Jane PlessnerPlay
13th October, 2018Russian Folk Songs Rachmaninov: I fell in love to my sorrow Shishkin: Bright is the nightDaria Robertson & Zhanna KempPlay
22nd September, 2018Chaminade: Flute ConcertinoKaren Rash and Nicola GrunbergPlay
22nd September, 2018JS Bach arr Myra Hess: Adagio Organ Toccata No 1 F Liszt: Valle d’ObermannJohn Bruzon (piano)Play
16th June, 2018Brahms: 2 Songs with Viola Op 91 Bridge: 3 Songs with ViolaAngela Goodall (mezzo-soprano), Beatrice Sales (viola), Joe Ward (piano)Play
16th June, 2018Russian classical and folk songsDaria Robertson (soprano), Zhanna Kemp (piano)Play
16th June, 2018J S Bach: Preludes and Fugues in E major from 'The Well Tempered Clavier'Hugh O'Neal (piano)Play
16th June, 2018Works by Rubinstein, Rachmaninov, Shostakovitch and PetrovPolina Loubnina (flute), Zhanna Kemp (piano)Play
16th June, 2018Songs by Rachmaninov and SchubertValeria Guidotti (soprano), Zhanna Kemp (piano)Play
28th April, 2018Liszt: Three Petrarch SonnetsJohn Bruzon (piano)Play
24th March, 2018Chopin: Polonnaise FantasieJonathan ZoobPlay
24th March, 2018Pergolesi: Stabat Mater (extracts)Jean-Pierre Brzechwa, Timi MohaiPlay
24th March, 2018Bellini Songs: La farfaletta; Vanne, o rosaGeorgie Zeitlyn, Joe WardPlay
24th February, 2018Four songs: Mozart; Humperdinck; Rodgers; Donald SwannJemima ByrnePlay
24th February, 2018Three songs: Brahms; Menotti; Kurt WeillElizabeth WilmotPlay
27th January, 2018Songs by Chabrier, Faure and HahnTim Wilcox and Peter WilliamsPlay
27th January, 2018Bach: 2nd Partita C minor BWV 826Rosemary Kemp (piano)Play
27th January, 2018Bruch: Kol Nidrei Faure: ElegieRacheol Sierra (cello), Hugh O'Neal (piano)Play
27th January, 2018Massenet: Meditation from Thais Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen Op 20Sophia Bartlette - violin, Joe Ward - pianoPlay
11th November, 2017Beethoven: Violin sonata No 10 in G major, Op.96Andrew Biggs (violin), Hugh O'NealPlay
11th November, 2017Frank Bridge: Piano sonataKevin AllenPlay
11th November, 2017Copland: Hoe Down; Variations (Appalachian Spring) Gershwin: Three preludes arr. StoneZhanna Kemp, Norman Jacobs - piano duetPlay
7th October, 2017Schumann: Maria Stuart Lieder, Op.135Jane Money (mezzo-soprano), Richard Haslam (piano)Play
9th September, 2017Arnold Bax: Sonata for viola and pianoBeatrice Sales, Kevin AllenPlay
9th September, 2017Songs by Arne, Saint-Saens and Henry BishopSue Mileham, Karen Rash with Nicola Grunberg (piano)Play
9th September, 2017Bach/Cortot: arrangement of the Arioso from the F Minor Keyboard Concerto. Liszt: FuneraillesJohn BruzonPlay
17th June, 2017Scarlatti: Arietta L.423 Mozart: Adagio in B minor K 540 Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 543 (arr Liszt)John Bruzon (piano)Play
17th June, 2017Mozart: Un moto gioia mi sento K579 Bellini: Tre arietteBeatrice Monaco (soprano), John Bruzon (piano)Play
17th June, 2017Georges Hue: FantaisieKaren Rash (flute), John Bruzon (piano)Play
29th April, 2017William Lloyd Webber and Vincenzo Bellini songsGeorgina Zeitlyn (Sop) and John Bruzon (piano)Play
29th April, 2017Mendelssohn: Songs without WordsAmbrose PagePlay
25th March, 2017Schoenberg and Webern piano piecesKevin AllenPlay
25th March, 2017Elgar: Sea PicturesAngela Goodall (mezzo-soprano), Joe Ward (piano)Play
25th February, 2017Beethoven: Bagatelles Op 126Joe Ward (piano)Play
25th February, 2017Brahms: Cello Sonata E minorNick Cooper, Hugh O'NealPlay
17th December, 2016Erik Satie: La Diva de L'Empire; Je te veuxValeria Guidotti (soprano), Zhanna Kemp (piano)Play
17th December, 2016Beethoven: String Quartet 18 No 3Andrew Biggs, Beatrice Sales, Nick Cooper, Rosemary ColePlay
17th December, 2016Vivaldi: flute concerto in D major Opus 10, No. 3Beatrice Sales (flute), Kevin Allen (piano)Play
17th December, 2016Offenbach: The Doll Song (Tales of Hoffmann)Valerie Guidotti, Zhanna KempPlay

Video recordings from June 2018 concert

Daria Robertson has kindly supplied the following links to her recent performance at the SMC June concert:
1. Vanechka Folk song
2. Splinter (Luchinushka) folk song
3. The Legend P. Tchaikovsky
4. The Night A. Rubinstein

Review: SMC 9th September 2017, BUC

The inaugural Sussex Musicians concert opened and ended with spectacular strength, and entertained all through.

Bax’s 1921 Viola Sonata is one of the greatest written for this combination. The finest is one from 1919, Rebecca Clarke’s, and Britten’s Lachrimaye from 1950 is the other best known. Add to that Shostakovich’s 1975 valediction (it’s striking how many composers end their lives writing or orchestrating viola works: Bartok and Britten too), with the best two or three of Hindemith’s and you have the core repertoire.

Oddly, this is the only work of that list inspired by Lionel Tertis, and Bax wrote a Concerto (called Fantasy) fro him in 1919, a Legend in 1929, which we heard a couple of years ago from this team; and a Second Sonata from 1934 got turned into his masterly Sixth Symphony. Perhaps looking at the oddity of the first two movements there, someone might steal it back?

The Bax has enormous power and like the Clarke encloses a scherzo in the middle, a format Walton later followed in his concertos.

Beatrice Sales opened out more and more in her playing, both singing and gritty where required. Kevin Allen powered support through Bax’s tricky piano part, written fro himself, someone who could sight-read anything. The opening rises in broken Celtic-sounding reminiscence but is a world away from Bax’s Irish adoption. It’s angular, modern and rises on tremendous perorations, speeding to Allegro then fading in a speaking tone of infinite regret. The diablerie of the Scherzo is strutting, angry, ferociously questing with a plangent middle trio section. The finale’s of course return: Molto lento. This too is shot through with sudden bursts and only settles resignedly. Sales and Allen know what they’re about as a duo, and brought this aching, angular masterwork of beauty, humour and desolation.

Sue Mileham with her inimitable wit and entertaining brio was able to break the spell after a brief pause with Karen Rash on flute and Nicola Grunberg on piano. Its an enticing combination. Arne’s The morning is a twittering confection, full of trills and tessituras, everyone reaching for a lark rise to top notes.

Saint-Saens’ ‘Une flute invisible’ similarly delights in the flute, as this composer always does, Rash weaving a proto-impressionistic haze around Mileham’s voice.

Henry Bishop’s ‘Lo! Here the Gentle Lark’ also weaves in larks, using Shakespeare’s ords as Mileham too points out is rather manically rising. These are rare works, rarely performed. Mileham’s often known for entertaining and she does that here, but in the music she charts unfamiliar territory for herself and most listeners.

Finally John Bruzon rendered us first a transcription by Alfred Cortot: it’s the second movement of Brandenburg Fifth Concerto in F minor. A remarkable sustained meditation in Bruzon’s hands, and retaining a cantilena feel as it sings suspended.

Bruzon’s virtuosity emerged wholly in the service of Liszt, his 1849 ‘Funérailles’ an extraordinary hybrid between a march and lament commemorating friends killed in the 1848 Hungarian uprising against the Hapsburgs. The tread of simple chords across the keyboard concatenates gradually into a frenzy, a protest, and a sad and angry consolation as the late great poet Geoffrey Hill put it. Bruzon gave an electrifying performance, terracing the gradual sonic wedge as it swayed across the keyboard, singing tone raised with the tempo, into an antiphonal carillon of rage. Muriel Hart, who’s been attending Sussex Musicians since 1941, said she couldn’t recall a finer piano performance in the last few years anywhere. I’m not sure I can either.

Simon Jenner

Daria and Zhanna 13 October 2018

ImageHere are some links to the recent video recordings. They are in order of performance:

Russian folk song
Shishkin
Rachmaninov
Folk song

Review: 7 October 2017

We don’t hear Nicola Grunberg enough in piano duets – she’s usually part of a violin/piano duo - but with Judith Maddison she’s paired up to one with distinction. This is the second time I’ve heard her recently in this combo. The repertoire’s adventurous too (it ought to be remembered that Grunberg gave the first outside-Soviet Union performance of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata with her husband, the late Cecil Aronowitz).

They started with two of Barber’s Souvenirs Op.20, acid chic tunefulness edging to post-war blues in both the Waltz and Pas de deux. It’d be good to hear the whole Suite. Richard Rodney Bennett’s Suite for Skip and Sadie is recognizably from the same aesthetic, if not quite as well-known. It’s an attractive children’s piece, a Good Morning and Good Night framing the characterful Sadie’s Waltz and Skip’s Dance. These like so much of Bennett’s output are grateful, teasingly memorable, and deliberately generic. They’re an attractive addition to the sub-genre of works for children in this medium. Grunberg and Maddison are right on top of this medium,: light, poised, crisp and full of élan.

The Mozart Violin Sonata in B Flat K.378 brings Grunberg back with her regular violin partner, Cynthia Eraut. This work’s both substantial and silvery. It’s a work that settles into B flat brilliance with its Allegro moderato, strong and quite big-boned. The Andantino sostenuto e cantabile slips by with a signing nagging inwardness I felt I’d like to hear again. The Allegro Rondo’s another piece of melodic tugging, edging sideways to small surprises, and vivid. Nicely projected, this duo never over-emphasize their performances.

After he interval we enjoyed a rarity: Schumann’s Op.135 – thus very late – Poems of Mary Stuart. These five works, sung by Jane Money with Richard Haslam at the piano, are beguiling, inward-looking pieces befitting their subject. The five poems based on actual pieces by Mary but refracted through all sorts of Romantic creations, take us through a Schiller’s Eye view, including the middle work addressed to Queen Elizabeth 1. The last two take a lingering farewell from the world. She had begun with marriage and hope. Money’s mezzo voice does pierce through these obliquities, and we’re lucky to have such fine works rendered at all. Haslam’s pianism as ever perfectly supported.

Hugh O’Neal’s Schubert Piano Sonata in A minor D.845 is a tremendous arc of a work veering early to desolation. The memorable Moderato that O’Neal pitches without pushing to any kind of opening allegro speed moves to the Andante poco molto, an interrogation of loneliness. O’Neal enjoys the whole Scherzo marked Allegro vivace moving to a slower Trio as you’d expect. The energy’s carried through the equally Allegro Vivace Rondo finale. With O’Neal, perfectly attuned to this fragile world of secure sorrow and evanescent joys, you do feel as if he’s the ideal guide. Schubert’s acute and sometimes volatile sensibility is movingly conveyed.

Another fine concert of core and rarity, a perfect balance. It’s good we can now hear them on the site.


Simon Jenner