Cromer Music Evenings

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Review by Terry Keeler
30 June 2017
Evie Anderson (Mezzo Soprano)
Simon Brown (Piano)

For the final concert of the 2016/17 series Cromer Music Evenings presented the first concert which actually took place in the evening!

The concert given proved to be an experience of musical excellence consisting of an informative, relaxed stage presence from both artists, which immediately struck a chord with the audience.

Ralph Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel where the songs, nine of them, were so beautifully interpreted by Anderson and Brown, embracing the intention of the composer with superb understanding of a journey in song, captivating the listener in experiencing the vocal qualities of Anderson's engaging voice, dynamically ranging from a powerful sonorous tone and projection, to an almost delicate whisper with pure intonation and obvious sincerity in performance.

After the interval, Simon Brown played Idyll in B minor from 3 Arabesques Op 7 by Nicolas Medtner – a chromatic composition with a Rachmaninov influence – being so chromatic in texture, I could not understand why the use of the sustaining pedal was over used causing a blurred result in much of the piece.

The evening progressed with the performance of four serious songs by Johannes Brahms entitled One thing befalleth the beasts, So I returned, Oh death how bitter and Though I speak with tongues. All with words from the Bible. Here the interpretations from both artists were overwhelmingly emotional, pure artistry from both performers.

Five Betjeman songs by Madeleine Dring were performed after Eddie Anderson gave a short story concerning an encounter with Sir John regarding his tonsils and hat pins, bringing about light relief from the sombre and gloomy writings of Brahms four serious songs.

The fifth song by Dring – the Song of a Night Club Proprietress – brought rapturous applause, having appreciated Anderson's take on, in her words, a rather tight lady!

A well deserved encore brought the concert to an end – and in the words of Arthur Windridge thanking the artists “a wonderful concert on a perfect summer's evening”.

Terry Keeler
Tel 01263 513273