Virtuoso performance

Cellist Gemma Rosefield and violinist Ben Nabarro, who performed for Clitheroe Concerts Society.  Photo: Ken Geddes.
Cellist Gemma Rosefield and violinist Ben Nabarro, who performed for Clitheroe Concerts Society. Photo: Ken Geddes.
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Clitheroe Concerts Society staged another highly successful concert when cellist Gemma Rosefield and violinist Ben Nabarro played an unusual but highly attractive programme for these two instruments, writes Ken Geddes.

Mozart wrote two duos for violin and viola, transcribing them for violin and cello himself. The earlier one opened the concert and was followed by the rather more demanding Ravel “Duo” written in the memory of Debussy. This was published in 1922 and features the two instruments as independent voices, sometimes beautifully coordinated and sometimes at odds, fringing on the dissonant. It is a masterpiece and little wonder that Ravel took four years to write it.

After the interval the second of Mozart’s Duos was played, followed by “Two Chasidic Dances” by Zigmund Schul. Schul died at the hands of the Nazis in Terezin concentration camp aged only 28. Apart from the emotion of hearing music composed under such circumstances, it is easy to wonder what he might have achieved.

Next was a complete contrast, “Ferdinand the Bull”, by British composer Alan Ridout, a children’s story for voice and solo violin. Ben provided both, giving Gemma well-earned rest until the last piece, the popular “Passacaglia on a theme of Handel”, by the Norwegian Johan Halvorsen.

This was a wonderful concert given by two virtuoso string players at the very top of their profession. After Clitheroe they had a recording date with pianist Tim Horton, making the Leonore Piano Trio, which has become the flagship group of Hyperion Records.

Clitheroe Concert Society’s next promotion will be at The Grand when the Prazac String Quartet – one of the world’s most respected recording quartets – will play an attractive programme of Haydn, Zemlinsky and Dvorak. Tickets are available in advance at the usual places, The Grand and online at normal prices. Members, students and accompanied children will be admitted free of charge. See www.clitheroeconcerts.org for more details.