Portsmouth Music club only had one concert in March because of the early Easter.
South Downs students have had to cancel their two PMC concerts so we were lucky to persuade pianist Karen Kingsley and three fine colleagues, Helen Walton (flute) Lucinda Willits (oboe) and Robert Blanken to compile a programme.
They presented us with some delightful rarities starting with Trygve Madsen’s Hommage à Francis Poulenc.
The many Poulenc lovers among us registered the clever combinations of well-known Poulenc quotations especially from the flute and clarinet sonatas. The wind players alone had us recognising familiar folk tunes in Bobby, Barbara and Roger – yes of course it was Bobby Shaftoe, Barbara Allen and Sir Roger de Coverley.
The trio had a rest while Karen Kingsley gave us the Mozart variations on Ah vous dirai-je Maman which of course we know better as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with delicious grace and dexterity.
The first half ended with some delightful dances for wind trio by Christopher Ball. The second half was equally enjoyable with a hilarious Quartetto Medico by Vaga Holomboe for the complete ensemble – the finale, an Allegro con frangula, gave a vivid description of medicinal relief from constipation!
Karen Kingsley’s performance of Poulenc’s three solo piano Novelettes brought a note of fire and lyrical intensity to calm us down, followed by Malcolm Arnold’s entertaining divertimento for wind trio.
This unusual programme was brought to a rumbustious end with Saint-Saens’ Caprice on Danish and Russian Airs. We are so lucky to be able to call on such fine local musicians at such short notice and are very grateful to them all.
Our next concert is on April 9 and is a novelty: An Evening with Mr Pepys. Mr Simpson’s Little Consort, all of whom are members of the Eisenach Ensemble, will give us a fun evening of theatre and music in which extracts from Pepys’ amusing and occasionally bawdy diaries of 1660-1669 are read by John Alexander – complete with a splendid wig .
He is accompanied by music Pepys would have heard on contemporary instruments such as theorbo, lute, recorder and viol plus popular songs of the time. We are warned that the evening is ‘probably unsuitable for persons with a delicate constitution or suffering the vapours.’ We can’t wait!
Ring me on (023) 9282 0317 for more details of the venue.