A fine start, despite the rain

Eloisa and Mark pause to look at the painting of Beethoven in the passage at the Clitheroe Royar Grammar School's Sixth Form Centre
Eloisa and Mark pause to look at the painting of Beethoven in the passage at the Clitheroe Royar Grammar School's Sixth Form Centre
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Torrential rain caused some difficulties for the audience attending the opening event of Clitheroe Concerts Society’s 61st season, causing chairman Tony Cooper to comment in his welcome that he trusted all the cars were safely moored!

Highly regarded young violinist Eloisa-Fleur Thom and her accompanist Mark Austin on piano were the performers at the opening concert. They played a programme starting from Bach and Beethoven and progressing in time to Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss. Bach was born in 1685 and Strauss died in 1949, spanning more than 260 years.

Bach’s Sonata in E major, described as “among the finest treasures of High Baroque chamber music”, started the concert well and contrasted with the second piece, Beethoven’s A minor violin sonata, written in 1801. Both were superbly played.

After the interval, Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu Cher (Memories of a dear place) was first, dedicated to where Tchaikovsky recuperated after the trauma of his disastrous marriage in 1877. Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata, written just a decade later, completed the concert. This is an extraordinary piece of music written by a young man in his early 20s and sadly not heard as often as it deserves, perhaps due to its its technical difficulty. However, Eloisa and Mark perfectly expressed its lyrical beauty, its singing violin tone, its exuberant third movement and its explosive ending bringing the concert to a satisfying end. Prolonged applause brought the duo back several times.

The Society’s next concert will be on Wednesday November 7th when Soprano Karina Lucas sings a tribute to Kathleen Ferrier for the centenary year of her birth. This is bound to be a popular concert and advance tickets can be obtained from Clitheroe Music, the Tourist Office at the Platform Gallery or online at www.clitheroeconcerts.org where full details of the music and the performers can be found.