Audience Comments

 

Mithras Trio. Concert held on 20th July 2021

SOME AUDIENCE COMMENTS
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The Mithras Trio performed a wonderful concert which combined virtuosity with insightful musicality. Both the enthusiasm as well as the sensitivity with which the Trio played the Haydn, Brahms and Schubert pieces was matched by the enthusiasm with which we, as members of the audience, received them. It was a most exciting concert and an excellent way for us to return to being able to go to live concerts once more. They said it was a pleasure to be playing in front of a live audience again but, believe me, our pleasure was even greater. Please pass on our thanks to them.

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I just wanted to express my appreciation for the recent concert given by the Mithras Piano Trio. Their playing was at times both exhilarating and exquisite. It was a great joy to be able to hear live music again, and I was grateful for all the steps that had been taken to make me feel safe at the concert.

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I don't know if it was because this was the first live performance we have attended in well over a year, or the quality of the performers - no doubt it was a mixture of both. But what IS certain is that it was a truly memorable evening and I have little doubt that the quality of the Mithras Trio was the principal factor in our enjoyment. Notably, the articulation, balance and sensitivity with which they performed the Schubert Piano Trio Number 2 was both remarkable and frequently moving.

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Thank you for arranging such a wonderful life-enhancing concert from the Mithras Trio. We thought they were absolutely stunning and gave us a marvelous prelude to the new season. We enjoyed the URC as a venue too - very comfortable and a warm acoustic from our place near the front.


Imogen Cooper - a fundraising evening of music and conversation for the Imogen Cooper Music Trust

SOME AUDIENCE COMMENTS
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What a pleasure it was to hear such well-loved pieces of music played so superbly by Imogen Cooper and then, after hearing her insightful introduction to Darknesse Visible by Thomas Ad's, how surprised I was by it. The extremes of dramatic sound, followed by moments of silence and then the delicacy of the trills, all contributed to an exhilarating experience. Having Darknesse Visible flow seamlessly into the Beethoven Sonata was inspired. To only hear the music would have been special enough but the evening grew better and better. It was enlightening to hear Imogen talk about her life as a professional musician and the differences between giving solo piano recitals, performing concertos with top class conductors and orchestras, as well as collaborating with some of the best singers for Lieder recitals. To then hear her talk about the ethos of the Imogen Cooper Music Trust and her aim of sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience with very talented young pianists, was inspirational. I felt very lucky to have been at this exceptional event.

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Thank you for a most wonderful experience. The evening was a triumph on all levels! Everyone I spoke to had only praise at the delightful turn the evening took, with Imogen talking about her life, her career, her Music Trust and then answering questions from the audience. A first for the Oxted & Limpsfield Music Society, as far as I can remember, and something everyone enjoyed! And then there was the music of course; Thomas Ad's (all those different facets) melting into the Beethoven Sonata. Incredibly brilliant.

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I have never heard such purity of sound from a piano in any recital and that greatly enhanced my enjoyment and appreciation of Imogen Cooper's playing. I was so intrigued that I asked whether it was electronically enhanced in any way and the answer was an emphatic 'No, the piano was itself alone in our very special hall.' Apparently the Yamaha piano was completely rebuilt with a contribution from O&LMS over the summer and will be heard a lot during the 2017/18 season. An O&LMS committee member also told me that both Imogen and her tuner had said that the Bawtree Concert Hall's depth and quality of sound was quite remarkable. This is praise indeed after hearing during the intimate Q and A session where else she had played in the world. We are so lucky.

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Last Saturday was my first experience of the Oxted & Limpsfield Music Society and I live a stone's throw away in Bromley. What an absolutely professional concert was put on. The Society's President, Imogen Cooper, coaxed incredible dynamics from a modern Yamaha piano which was perfectly matched to the acoustics of an interestingly curved performance space. Looking at the website and the printed programme I had no idea that such quality of music and performers is available during the winter months.

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Thank you for a great evening. My friend and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and Imogen's performance was stunning. When we listened to the conversation afterwards we also found out what a lovely lady she is. The pleasure of hearing the concert, which I'm still smiling from, is going to continue as I'm now going to listen to her again on one of her CDs - what joy!

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A big thank you to Oxted and Limpsfield Music Society for going beyond what we could experience at a similarly professional concert in London, Paris or New York. We heard a fantastic performer playing a thought-provoking mixture of Haydn, Ad's and Beethoven, intelligently informative programme notes about the repe


Recital in commemoration of the start of World War One, The Great War in English Song

This recital to mark the start of The Great War in 1914 was a truly auspicious event.

Roderick Williams is a well-known name in recital, concert and opera circles nationally and internationally and, after his forthcoming appearance at the Last Night of the Proms, he will be much more widely known amongst the general public as well. Whilst this recital had no resemblance to that coming event, the performance that he and Gary Matthewman delivered on 1st August was of extreme brilliance.

Roderick is a lyric baritone with a beautiful vocal instrument, secure in pitch and legato. It is totally apt for his superb interpretive gifts which, on this occasion, were laid at the feet of English Song and the majority of the programme encompassed that extraordinary generation of composers and poets who had the misfortune to be born in the final two decades of the 19th Century and therefore served in the First World War.

The coalescing of poetry and music gave birth to the enormous riches known as English Song which has been largely neglected in the concert halls of the world, but now familiar to all young English-speaking singers. So Roderick Williams had riches indeed to explore and he chose a wide-ranging repertoire starting with 'Six songs from A Shropshire Lad' composed by George Butterworth; possibly the greatest loss to English music amongst many other losses. The programme brought together songs by other familiar composers such as Arthur Somervell, Edward Elgar, Ivor Gurney, Gerald Finzi, Martin Shaw, John Ireland, Charles Ives, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Anthony Payne, as well as songs by some relatively unfamiliar names.

The two artists conducted the 'exploration' expertly. Roderick articulated the texts to perfection, drawing upon the wide range of colours in his voice and creating the feeling that he was singing, as it were, to each of us personally. It was an absolutely magnificent demonstration of the art of song delivered by an artist at the height of his powers and glorying in his ability to touch every emotion during two hours of sustained mastery. It was a truly a stupendous performance, the like of which it was a privilege to witness. We must hope that both Roderick Williams and Gary Matthewman can be persuaded to perform for us again.

SOME AUDIENCE COMMENTS
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I am still thinking about the moving performance of Friday evening's tour de force. I had to swallow very hard during Butterworth's setting of A.E. Housman's 'Is my team ploughing?' This was a very fitting remembrance concert, which everyone I spoke to was glad to have attended.

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I was enthralled by the whole recital, but the songs which really moved me were 'Channel Firing', in the first half and 'Pain' in the second half. 'Channel Firing' had not just wonderfully emotive singing, but also a beautifully played piano accompaniment which evoked so vividly the threatening thunder of the guns. The whole of 'Pain' - the singing, music and words - moved me immensely, as did the final song, 'Only a man harrowing clods'. Roderick Williams transfixed me, not just with his voice but with his stage presence and his penetrating eyes.

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The choice of songs, the incredibly moving vocal interpretation and a most accomplished accompanist created a truly memorable evening. Roderick Williams has a beautiful clarity of diction so the audience could hang on to every word. Gary Matthewman's wonderful accompaniment especially in 'Adlestrop', the Edward Thomas poem, was so atmospheric that one could have heard a pin drop. The rapt attention of the whole audience led to those wonderful few moments of stillness at the end of the recital when, lost in the moment, the audience remained silent before the raptur