Outstanding pieces of music offer Britten centenary preview
THERE'S a curtain-raiser to next year's Britten centenary celebrations in Derby Concert Orchestra's programme at St Peter's Church, Littleover, tomorrow night.
The concert begins with Mendelssohn's overture Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage – a musical response to poetry, this time two short poems by Goethe, describing first a becalmed ship, then the voyage getting under way as the wind starts filling the sails. It is outstanding.
Music by the young Beethoven takes up the second half – the overture to his ballet score The Creatures of Prometheus, based on a Greek legend, and his Second Symphony, with its imposing introduction and firecracker last movement.
The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12, £10 concessions and under 16s free. Book on 01332 344842 or at Foulds in Iron Gate.
AT a recent performance by Derby Chamber Music, Fauré was in an unexpectedly spiky mood in the first movement of his Cello Sonata No 1. The show featured Jonathan Dormand and Marisa Gupta at the Multi-Faith Centre, University of Derby, last week.
The cello and piano duo were in total rapport throughout the evening. They caught the second movement's melancholy poise and the increasing excitement of the finale was finely judged.
They emphasised gentle, restrained thoughtfulness in the opening movement of Brahms' E minor Sonata, Op 38, and the sombre half-lights showed it to be not just an 18th-century pastiche.
In the short Fauré pieces after the interval, Elégie was played with both passion and quiet dignity, Romance with lyrical grace, and Papillon with charm and agility.
Prokofiev's Cello Sonata has a reputation of being blandly conformist, but Dormand and Gupta were clearly not taking this seriously for one moment.
They laid bare the nerves of steel beneath the surface of the first movement, found just the right touch of nonchalance and wit in the second, and brought balletic poise to the finale, not overlooking the poignancy of the central episode.