Centenary Celebrations
Lunchtime Concerts

GORDON EGERTON (clarinet) STEPHEN NORRIS (piano)

2nd June

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday 2nd June, the audience at the lunchtime concert in St. Wilfrid’s Church, Bognor Regis was treated to an excellent concert given by Gordon Egerton (clarinet) and Stephen Norris (piano).

The concert opened with ‘Romance’ by Edward German beautifully played by Gordon. The acoustics of the church were such that clarinettist was able to make the lovely melody really sing out and from the very first note the audience was captivated.

This was followed by ‘Premiere Rhapsody’ by Debussy and although he was a contemporary of Edward German, this piece was in a completely different style. It was originally written as an examination piece for students at the Paris Conservatoire and therefore included many passages designed to show off the player’s technical abilities. In this Gordon was ably accompanied by Stephen Norris at the piano and the two of them made a very difficult piece of music appear much easier than it actually was. The piece opened with a short unaccompanied passage which caught the audience’s attention and held it through the many virtuoso passages.

Stephen Norris then took centre stage and played the Petrarch Sonnet No. 47 by Franz Liszt. His talents as a pianist had already become apparent from his role as accompanist but here he showed just what an excellent pianist he is in his own right. The contrasts between loud and soft, fast and slow, simple and complex were all brought to the fore. The music really came to life as it told the story of unrequited love.

‘A Kitchen Garden Suite’ by Paul Reade followed. Simpler in style than the Debussy or Liszt it provided the perfect foil to the piece that followed which was the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Francis Poulenc. As with the Debussy there was plenty of opportunity for the clarinettist to push the restrictions of the instrument to the limit and here Gordon not only excelled himself but also, together with Stephen, produced a work of art.

This was a concert where it was clear from the start that both performers were wedded to the music, supporting and complementing each other as each piece evolved. Throughout the concert the applause was both appreciative and enthusiastic and at the end the audience left having enjoyed 50 minutes of wonderful music.

This concert was the second in a series of lunchtime concerts. The next one will be on Wednesday July 7th and will be given by Richard Bureau (violin), Elizabeth Angel (cello) and James Kirkpatrick (piano).

Helen Woods

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