Reviews

Richard Pearce, the renowned organist and choral conductor, treated a packed audience to a varied programme of organ music at the Petersfield Musical Festival on Wednesday 17th March in St. Peter’s Church. He book-ended the concert with two works by...
  • April 10, 2024
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Philip Young, festival music director, enjoyed a royal celebration at this year’s Petersfield Musical Festival Family Concert. He writes: There was a royal theme to the Family Concert presented by Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra and their conductor, Stephen Scotchmer, on Sunday...
  • April 7, 2024
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It is always a thrill to attend the Youth Concerts during the Petersfield Musical Festival and toenjoy the immense wealth of musical talent that exists in local schools. This year was no exception and the capacity audiences were royally entertained by over...
  • April 1, 2024
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A capacity audience was treated to an uplifting all-Mozart programme on 16th March conducted by Festival President Jonathan Willcocks standing in for an indisposed Paul Spicer. From the revolutionary opening bar of the much-loved Symphony No.40 in G minor, Mozart’s...
  • March 29, 2024
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21 March, Petersfield Festival Hall At the top of Wenceslas Square in Prague, the recently refurbished National Museum holds many treasured musical items. There are manuscripts by Beethoven and Mozart as well as relics of Bohemia’s most renowned and nationalistic...
  • March 26, 2024
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Crookhorn College, Mar 24 Portsmouth Music Festival is a compendium of categories and compartments like a local musical version of Crufts and so its celebration of the winners is as various as those jamboree bags of bygone days in which...
  • March 25, 2024
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St. Peter’s Church Petersfield, Saturday 23rd March “The Renaissance Choir presents ‘Ave Maria’” was emblazoned across the poster and programme for their latest concert at St Peter’s Church on Saturday.  From this, the first time attender at a Renaissance Choir...
  • March 24, 2024
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17 March 2024 When a well-filled St. Peter’s Church greeted the singers of The Gemini Consort at the start of their Petersfield Musical Festival concert on Sunday night, the spirit of Ann Pinhey was wonderfully evident. Ann contributed so much...
  • March 19, 2024
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St Mary’s, Portsea, 16 March Of all the settings of The Passion of Christ, the St. John Passion by Bob Chilcott is probably the most personal; it speaks to the listener directly, not just through the words, but also through...
  • March 17, 2024
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Ivory Duo ft. Adrian Green, Portsmouth Cathedral, March 7 It’s remarkable how many people one has come to know through doing this little website over the years, whether literary or musical. It’s a collateral benefit. My very good friends the...
  • March 8, 2024
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Chichester Cathedral, Mar 5 Chopin’s not a bad idea for a favourite composer. Rich, with great melodies, charismatic and the Complete Works fit onto 16 discs. I can see why anybody might choose him. Nataly Ganina began with an Impromptu, op. 29...
  • March 6, 2024
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Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido & Tianyang Han, Chichester Cathedral, Feb 20 Other Chichester lunchtime recitals One of my greatest discoveries in recent years of attending more lunchtime recitals has been the chamber music of Brahms. Others had discovered it already, of course,...
  • February 21, 2024
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Clarinet Quintet, Chichester Cathedral, Feb 13 Keir Rowe, Bogdan Vacarescu, Michael Sullivan, Phyllida Maude-Roxby, & Nigel McNestrie The Clarinet is a bubbly thing, isn’t it. It is a character actor like the bassoon or trombone. Clarinet Quintet aren’t five of them,...
  • February 13, 2024
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Portsmouth Music Festival, Adult Piano, Portsmouth Menuhin Room, Feb 12 It’s like Narnia, a whole world of categories and divisions within them and a collection of trophies as if Captain Pugwash had come back from a rare successful pirating expedition....
  • February 13, 2024
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Caroline Tyler, Chichester Cathedral, Feb 6 On Caroline Tyler’s website it’s possible to have your own bespoke composition based on your name at what looks a very fair price. It’s called Composify. Would that creativity came quite so easily to some...
  • February 6, 2024
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Karen Kingsley, Portsmouth Cathedral, Jan 25 Five yards in front of where the notes come out of Portsmouth Cathedral’s Bosendorfer under the finely-modulated hands of Karen Kingsley is an excellent place to sit to hear music. I’d recommend it except...
  • January 25, 2024
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Portsmouth, Jan 20By way of introducing an all-Rachmaninov programme, Angela Zanders read from a contemporary article in Grove’s, ‘the unsurpassed authority on all aspects of music’, that amongst other things described his music as ‘artificial, gushing’. That’s fine by me. All...
  • January 21, 2024
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Andrew Garrido, Chichester Cathedral, Jan 9 A cold coming we had of it and there were to be no New Year fireworks to begin 2024 with at Chichester, not even in the Liszt. That was not Andrew Garrido’s style, not...
  • January 9, 2024
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16 December 2023, St Mary’s, Portsea Over three hundred people gathered together in the middle of December? Fratton Park? No. In that glorious building, St Mary, Fratton. An audience of over 200 met to hear a choir of 75 supported...
  • December 19, 2023
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7th December 2023 Anyone going to a concert by the Sitkovetsky Trio can expect a performance of verve, energy and total commitment coupled with gentle sensitivity.  Such was the case last Thursday evening when a large audience braved a wet...
  • December 14, 2023
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December 2nd 2023 Verdi’s Requiem has frequently been described as his best opera, and it certainly displays all the features that contributed to his enormous success as an operatic composer. It is dramatic, gentle and reflective when needed and full...
  • December 9, 2023
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Tim Rumsey, Chichester Cathedral, Nov 21 One can just sit and listen to what the music sounds like but there’s benefit to be had in knowing what it signifies. Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin is based on the baroque keyboard music of...
  • November 22, 2023
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16 November, Petersfield Festival Hall The major work in the Petersfield Orchestra’s November concert was Sibelius’s 1st Symphony, something of a challenge to rise to the demands of this major work from the orchestral repertoire – and the players acquitted...
  • November 19, 2023
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Anthony Gritten, Portsmouth Cathedral, Nov 16 Anthony Gritten’s fluent, authoritative Prelude and Fugue, BWV 552, entirely justified our gamble on the inclement weather as it sashayed its way over its groaning ground bass until reaching a middle section that was O, God Our Help...
  • November 18, 2023
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Elisabeth Turmo and Elena Toponogova, Chichester Cathedral, Nov 14 There are a lot of notes, words and chess moves but only so many. Eventually, one might think, then, all the possible music and poetry will one day have been written...
  • November 15, 2023
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Chichester Chamber Concerts series, 9 November Another dazzling concert of chamber music was provided for local music lovers here in Chichester’s Assembly Room on Thursday 9th November, hosted, as usual, by Chichester Chamber Concerts.  Two astonishingly talented young musicians, the...
  • November 10, 2023
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Holy Trinity, Gosport music events, 5 November Last Sunday’s Tea-time concert certainly lived up to its name of ‘Fire, Water and Fantasy’ and was hugely appreciated by a full audience. Hampshire Recorder Sinfonia, led by Helen Hooker, brought us a...
  • November 10, 2023
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Katie Wilkinson, Portsmouth Cathedral, Nov 9 What goes on in the pub, or what one overhears, at the ‘after party’ stays in the pub. I’m not concerned with technical imperfections. Some years ago I saw Tasmin Little in Portsmouth’s Square...
  • November 9, 2023
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Miriam Wakeling and Ben Socrates, Chichester Cathedral, Oct 31 There was an autumnal mood about much of the music in Chichester’s lunctime programme today with Miriam Wakeling’s cello rich over the fluent passages of the Ben Socrates piano. Farewell to Granada, veryMoorish,...
  • November 1, 2023
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St Peter’s Church, Petersfield, Saturday 28 October Ignoring the lure of ‘Strictly’ and the prospect of a rainy evening, the Renaissance Choir’s loyal followers turned out in force for Saturday’s concert. ‘Sold out’ signs were on display and in his...
  • October 30, 2023
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Outstanding Duo Chichester Music Society was pleased to welcome back Pavlos Carvalho [cello] and Miriam Teppich [violin] on 10 October at the University of Chichester in the intimate music venue, The Cloisters. This was an ideal location for the programme...
  • October 27, 2023
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Chichester Cathedral, Oct 24 Overheard in the Oxfam bookshop beforehand was somebody saying they’d read a certain book and it was ‘unusual’ which immediately made me wonder what was ‘usual’. Elgar and Haydn seem to me fairly usual but they...
  • October 25, 2023
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Thomas Howell, Holy Trinity, Gosport, Oct 16 In 1705, Bach famously walked 250 miles to visit Dietrich Buxtehude in Lubeck. Today, in order to pay similar tribute, I walked maybe 5 miles to hear some of his music played. It...
  • October 16, 2023
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Brighton Chamber Ensemble, Chichester Cathedral, Oct 10 This year’s Chichester Cathedral lunchtime concerts series autumn programme contains within it a mini Elgar Festival by way of what must be entirely due to different artists discretely deciding on him and Chichester...
  • October 12, 2023
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Castalian Quartet at Chichester Chamber Concerts 5th October 2023 A full-house at Chichester Assembly Rooms proved an attentive and appreciative audience for an exciting evening of chamber music from the Castalian Quartet:  Mozart, Mark-Anthony Turnage and (late) Beethoven.   The Turnage...
  • October 7, 2023
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Ivory Duo, Portsmouth Cathedral, Oct 5 Read a profile of the Ivory Duo. Panayotis Archontides and Natalie Tsaldarakis returned to Portsmouth and found a much better sized audience than for their previous visit. Maybe their reputation is deservedly growing quite...
  • October 6, 2023
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Continuum, Chichester Cathedral, Oct 3 One waits all year for days like these and then they are soon gone so it’s best to seize them while one can. That is what Continuum did today as they ‘soave s’il vento’-ed their...
  • October 3, 2023
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“Dance in the Street” The workshop this year was a slightly different venture from the norm. Instead of studying works to be sung in the Festival, as is our usual custom, we spent a day singing from the ‘Bob Chilcott...
  • October 2, 2023
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Sparkling Champagne! The Chichester Music Society’s 2023 Autumn programme opened on 12 September at the University of Chichester with a return visit by The Champagne Quartet.   The Quartet, including soprano Erin Alexander, a former CMS prize-winner, are now in their...
  • September 21, 2023
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Valentina Seferinova, Portsmouth Menuhin Room, Sept 9. By Menuhin Room concerts. Following the all-Chopin programme in the cathedral on Thursday, a different Portsmouth audience were taken further into the Romantic piano via some landmark pieces in Valentina Seferinova’s story. The...
  • September 11, 2023
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Varvara Maggs, Portsmouth Cathedral, Sept 7 By Portsmouth Cathedral music events. At Chichester Cathedral on Tuesdays one can see in advance not only who is playing but what they are playing whereas at Portsmouth you know who but not what....
  • September 9, 2023
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5 September It might have well rained until September and it did put in an effort to but, having arrived here, we find a minor heatwave like a side who think they’ve bowled the opposition out but then the last...
  • September 6, 2023
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The Chichester Music Society concert on 13th June with The Endymion Ensemble proved to be a hugely enjoyable event and a fitting tribute to the Society’s late Chairman, David Tinsley. A large audience, including David’s family and many of his...
  • August 7, 2023
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Summer Concert – Festival of Chichester, St. Paul’s Church, Chichester, 8 July 2nd review Each year the Chichester Symphony Orchestra performs its Summer Concert at St. Paul’s Church as part of the Festival of Chichester. The festival’s marketing helps to...
  • July 21, 2023
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8 July 2023, St Paul’s Church, Chichester 1st review St. Paul’s Church in Chichester was the location for the annual summer concert by Chichester Symphony Orchestra – founded in 1889 and still going strong over 130 years later. Over 150...
  • July 11, 2023
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St Paul’s, Chichester, July 9 Handel, and Messiah in particular, is one of the Wonders of the Musical World. One can admire David Bowie but never love him as much as Marc Bolan, it has long seemed to me, and something similar...
  • July 10, 2023
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Southsea, 8 July There was much to take away from The Renaissance Choir’s “Byrd Song” programme which proved to be so much more than a celebration of William Byrd’s recent 400th anniversary. Indeed, this ambitious and generous programme was packed...
  • July 9, 2023
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Valentina Seferinova and Catherine Lawlor, Portsmouth Cathedral, July 6 Two of the most memorable musical events across the region so far this year have featured Catherine Lawlor and her violin, in Szymanowski and Shostakovich. I’m resistant to any but the...
  • July 9, 2023
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Ida Pelliccioli, Chichester Catheral, Jul 4 It is often for the best for a concert programme to have a theme or thread like today’s ‘journey from Spanish keyboard music to the Viennese Classic Style through the worl of Manuel Blasco...
  • July 7, 2023
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Portsmouth Baroque Choir warmed up for next week’s Messiah with a programme of anthems From Lent To Easter, their appetite for such music needing large helpings of it to be satisfied. Peter Gould moved from organ to guest conductor with Malcom Keeler featuring as...
  • July 3, 2023
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Stanford Chamber Chorale,  Portsmouth Cathedral, Jul 1 Horace, Andrew Marvell and Robert Herrick are among those best known for encouraging us to ‘carpe diem’, seize the day, to get on with it. On a day of piled-up fixture congestion across the...
  • July 3, 2023
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Danny Driver, Menuhin Room, Portsmouth, July 1 A few weeks ago on the wireless Danny Driver was described as a ‘cerebral’ pianist and soon after, as if to prove the point, was the guest on Composer of the Week talking about the...
  • July 2, 2023
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15th June 2023, Petersfield Festival Hall Petersfield Orchestra concerts frequently feature outstanding young solo players, and their June 2023 concert was no exception.  Here we were dazzled by Mathilde Milwidsky’s sensational performance of Saint-Saëns’ virtuosic third violin concerto.  Her full-toned...
  • July 1, 2023
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Portsmouth Choral Union at St. Mary’s, Portsea, 24 June 2023 It was fitting that on the day which celebrates the birth of John the Baptist that PCU should perform St. Nicolas by Benjamin Britten which includes the phrase ‘he climbed...
  • June 26, 2023
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Richard Allum and Lis Peskett, Portsmouth Cathedral, June 15 We have had some viola round these parts in recent months so for once it’s not such a rarity. The viola’s relationship with the violin is vaguely like that of Johann...
  • June 16, 2023
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The Plaegan Piano Trio, Chichester Cathedral, June 13 The stories seem to suggest that Brahms was a ‘glass half empty’ character, being disappointed that he wasn’t Beethoven. For anybody else the glass would surely have been full to the top...
  • June 13, 2023
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Southern Pro Musica & Pavlos Carvalho, 13 May CMS had been invited to join with Southern Pro Musica for their May 13 Concert at St. Paul’s Church in Chichester to hear a splendid programme of orchestral music. Conducted by talented...
  • June 7, 2023
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James Lisney (piano), Portsmouth Menuhin Room, June 3:Beethoven 33 Variations on a Waltz of Diabelli, Op.120 There are two reviews, read David Green’s first then Diana Swann’s. If Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations were a horse they’d be by The Art of Fugue out of A Musical...
  • June 4, 2023
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Fumi Otsuki & Sarah Kershaw, Portsmouth Cathedral, May 25 Last year in Lunchtime Live! Sarah Kershaw played Fumi Otsuki’s Piano Sonatina no. 1 and I was at least half expecting no. 2 today but things move quicker than that. It...
  • May 30, 2023
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Chichester Cathedral, 23 May Mozart’s operas are enough to put him among the greatest composers, even if they were all the music he’d written, so dense are they with such wonderful tunes. It comes as no surprise that Beethoven saw...
  • May 25, 2023
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A significant feature amongst the covid-related cancellations in the St Nicholas 2020 celebrations was a concert performance by the renowned Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir. How wonderful it was that three years later, and almost exactly to the day, the...
  • May 19, 2023
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Portsmouth Cathedral, 11 May One doesn’t generally know what’s going to be played at a Portsmouth Lunchtime Live!, only who will be playing it. Today Emmanuel Bach (pictured) and Jenny Stern gave a programme of Scandinavian composers. Grieg’s Sonata no. 2, op.13...
  • May 12, 2023
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Part of a new series of Saturday lunchtime recitals in Portsmouth’s Menuhin Room. Cordelia Williams, 29 April 2023 As we emerged from the Menuhin Room last Saturday, we were all aware that we had been privileged to enjoy the performance...
  • May 9, 2023
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Neil Crossland, Chichester Cathedral, May 2 Last week a traffic accident prevented the bus from getting to Chichester so I had an unplanned walk to Bosham. This week there was no such problem and so it was ‘music to my...
  • May 2, 2023
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This new series of Saturday lunchtime recitals in Portsmouth’s Menuhin Room took no time at all to establish itself with a high standard of performance and an engaging programme of events. Somehow, Cordelia Williams took on the enormous challenge of...
  • April 30, 2023
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Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir, Portsmouth Cathedral, April 27 ‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, What have we here? It’s not often we get a male voice choir for a lunchtime concert round these parts and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen...
  • April 29, 2023
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The latest Petersfield Musical Festival took place from 17 to 25 March 2023. It comprised: 700 performers2,000 audience members10 days of concerts1 brass band5 choirs4 orchestras11 schools9 conductors2 chamber groups9 guest soloists Download the latest newsletter with reviews and articles about...
  • April 25, 2023
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Shostakovich Piano Trio, April 22 There were more reasons than usual to look forward to today’s Menuhin Room concert. Shostakovich is always an occasion and, after Catherine Lawlor’s Szymanowski in the cathedral was such a memorable highlight of the year...
  • April 23, 2023
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Los Ladrones, The Spectre Knight, St. Faith’s, Havant, Apr 12 It’s said a change is as good as a rest and so while the local cathedrals were taking a rest from lunchtime recitals, St. Faith’s provided some light operetta for a...
  • April 13, 2023
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The latest concert by the Portsmouth Philharmonic raised £575 for Aurora New Dawn and was attended by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, whose chosen charity was the beneficiary. Featuring soloist Karen Travers, who performed Hayden’s Trumpet...
  • April 9, 2023
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A large audience greeted The Renaissance Choir, under its conductor, Peter Gambie, with Zoe Barnett, guitar at St. Peter’s Church, Petersfield on 1st April 2023. The concert consisted of the best of the Renaissance Choral Masters Series, which had been...
  • April 3, 2023
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St. Mary’s, Fratton, April 1 As chance would have it, in the morning I heard the contemporary composer, Bent Sørensen, on the wireless quoted as having written, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion is maybe the greatest work of art in any...
  • April 2, 2023
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Julia Bishop was the guest of the Chichester Music Society on 7 March at the University of Chichester when she gave a fascinating concert entitled “The Devil’s Instrument.” This was the name given to the violin after the Reformation by...
  • March 30, 2023
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Petersfield Orchestra, 23 March Cordelia Williams, a rising star in the world of classical piano and Hampshire resident, thrilled the audience in her sold-out concert with the Petersfield Orchestra on Thursday 23 March.  She played the famous Schumann Piano Concerto in A...
  • March 25, 2023
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Portsmouth Cathedral, Mar 23 Music rarely benefits from being put into categories. You might find Simeon Walker filed under ‘Contemporary’, a term so meaningless that one can do what one wants. And that’s what Simeon does. He plays his own...
  • March 24, 2023
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Chichester Cathedral, 21 March The homework I did yesterday on Beethoven’s Archduke Trio will perhaps be useful another time. The English Piano Trio were incomplete due to illness and so cellist Pál Banda took on the audience of about 300 on his...
  • March 21, 2023
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Portsmouth, 18 March One thing we don’t give up for lent is music. It’s best to give up non-essentials. I don’t give up Music in Portsmouth, either, without which I might have walked to Southsea on a fool’s errand unaware that...
  • March 19, 2023
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Menuhin Room 11 March 2023: The Monington Duo I came away from Saturday’s lunchtime concert feeling that this new series of concerts is putting this lovely concert hall back on the Portsmouth musical map. It gives fine local musicians such as...
  • March 13, 2023
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We have enjoyed some amazing performances and wonderful programmes of music over the past three weeks at Holy Trinity, Gosport. On February 20th we enjoyed a really interesting lunchtime programme with music from Karg-Elert, Handel, Jongen and Lefebure-Wely played superbly...
  • March 11, 2023
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Chichester Cathedral, 7 March Happy Birthday, Maurice Ravel. He would have been 148 today, had he lived. He’s a popular choice for solo piano recitals in these parts. We did have his Jeux d’eau here last year when I wrote, I’ve never...
  • March 8, 2023
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