Stepping in for a premature performance

Emilie Capulet
Emilie Capulet

‘UK needs to boost its budget for the military’

It is always appreciated when one of the Portsmouth Music Club’s performers introduces items in their programme.

This happened in both our February piano recitals. Emilie Capulet’s programme on February 13 was perfectly tailored to a music club audience – much that was loved and familiar but anchored by a substantial Viennese classical sonata.

Having described Chopin’s circumstances and the historical background of her first two pieces, the popular Fantaisie Impromptu and the C# minor Waltz, Emilie gave us the musical and social setting of Beethoven’s sunny Eb Sonata Op 31 no3, before her intelligent and convincing performance.

After the interval we enjoyed her sea-based Debussy group, the virtuoso L’Isle Joyeuse (The Island of Joy) and the well-known La Cathédrale Engloutie (The Submerged Cathedral). Her introductions contained many unknown details and she ended the evening with a flourish – a lively Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue.

Then two days before our February 27 concert, our string trio performers had to cancel their booking because of the hospitalisation of their cellist. After a fruitless search for a substitute, I decided to step in, having never yet had to cancel a club concert.

Fortunately I am booked to give a lunchtime piano recital of popular classical composers in aid of PIDFAS on May 3 in the cathedral.

I felt that even a two months-premature performance of this programme might prove enjoyable, though not yet as polished as I would like.

Like Emilie, I enjoy introducing each composer and piece. I began with a Schubert impromptu, followed by Chopin’s popular Raindrop Prelude, the dramatic C# minor nocturne and floating, ethereal harp study. Brahms’ spine-chilling Edward Ballade ended the first half.

The second part comprised two spacious and rich Rachmaninov preludes and a lyrical etude-tableau contrasted with some popular Debussy pieces La Fille au Cheveux de Lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair)and the second submerged cathedral of the month! I ended with the witty Scot Joplin-influenced Golliwogs’ Cakewalk.

Ring me on (023) 9282 0317 for more details of the venue. If you missed the above programme you can hear it on May 3 in the cathedral at 1pm.

Our next concert on March 12 is a piano (Karen Kingsley) and wind quartet playing Saint-Saëns and Malcolm Arnold.