Cromer Music Evenings

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27th May 2012
Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and James Sherlock (Piano)
Templewood, Northrepps

Cromer Music Evenings final concert in the current series proved to be a breathtaking experience I am sure for everyone present at this concert, wherein the performances from both musicians displayed complete mastery of their instruments. Despite their age, both are widely experienced in playing throughout the UK and overseas, and both recently were in concert at Wigmore Hall in London.

The first item in the programme, Pequena Czarda by Pedro Iturralde, who only wrote three compositions, was such a work that confirmed what the saxophone itself, in the hands of a performer such as Huw Wiggin, is capable of. Concerto in C Minor by Benedetto Marcello, originally written for oboe but played today using the soprano saxophone where the adagio movement was entrancing. Vocalise by Rachmaninoff written for the soprano voice, but also played on many instruments because of the beautiful melodic line which today captivated the audience. James Sherlock in his solo performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor, sometimes known as the Bells of Moscow was, as expected, a splendid account of this popular piece. J S Bach’s Sonata in G Minor played on soprano saxophone came next, followed by variations on Le Carneval de Venise by Jules Demersseman, described by Huw Wiggin as “whacky and wild” and it certainly was, where he managed to play the theme in staccato accompanying this with groups of triplets, akin to triple tonguing on brass instruments.

After the interval Cesar Franck’s Sonata in A Major in four movements, proved to be the major work of this concert, which demanded the highest interpretative qualities and techniques which the two musicians relished, as did the audience. James Sherlock for his second piano solo - Debussy’s First Arabesque - was emotionally expressive in its performance bringing a feeling of calm after such dynamic textures of former works. The final piece on the programme, Carmen Fatasy by Francois Borne, again a wonderful performance bringing prolonged applause leading to an encore - a Brazilian work, played with such gusto and obvious enjoyment by the two exceptionally fine performers.