Vicar on the Block – Saturday 19th May 2012

Posted on May 19, 2012

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Liz Patridge (violin), David Theodore (oboe) and Stephen Wilder (piano)

The church was packed on Saturday evening as we welcomed back world famous musicians (and Southgate residents) Liz Partridge (violin), David Theodore (oboe) and Stephen Wilder (piano) for a special concert as part of our 150th Anniversary Celebrations. Despite the large turnout the atmosphere was very much the intimate ‘salon concert’ setting described in Fr Peter’s introduction, thanks to the varied programme and the personal introductions and insights by each musician.

We were treated to works spanning the ages, including pieces for all three instruments by Vivaldi and Bach as well as individual performances including extracts from Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid (Op. 49) for solo oboe played superbly by David Theodore – featuring (appropriately given the floral setting) Narcissus. David also gave us ‘Melody’ by Morgan Nicholas, which he described as the best piece of music composed for solo oboe. Liz Partridge performed works by Friz Kreisler; one of the greatest violinists of all time and to whom Elgar composed and dedicated his Violin Concerto. Whilst an outstanding performer, Liz explained that Kreisler was less confident as a composer and often published works under a pseudonym; the list of ‘musical hoaxes’ attributed to him being greater than almost any other composer. We heard a number of pieces inspired by folk tunes, including Chopin’s Mazurkas (Op. 6) performed by Stephen Wilder and three folk songs by Bartok performed by the trio.

Fr Peter Jackson’s musical appearance as the Widow Simone from the ballet La fille mal gardée performing the famous Clog Dance on a ‘block’

The audience sat agog at Fr Peter’s (musical) appearance as the Widow Simone from the ballet La fille mal gardée performing the famous Clog Dance on a ‘block’. The dance takes place after the Wayward Daughter tempts her mother with a pair of clogs which she cannot resist! The vicar’s accomplished performance a testament to his weeks of practice using all manner of resonant objects.The evening concluded with the audience attempting to rival David’s performance with their own take on Britten’s Bacchus; with the opportunity to meet the musicians and have a go on the vicar’s block, refreshed by a suitably restorative tincture or two in traditional Christ Church style.

The concert series, organized by Fr Peter and Director of Music Harvey Brink, continues on Sunday 27th May at 3pm with a Trio recital for cello, flute and piano and concludes on Sunday 24th June at 3pm with a recital of music for String Quartet, led by Adrian Butterfield.

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