21 February 2018

The Annual Chamber Evening presented an impressive cross-section of chamber music from a number of different ensembles – woodwind, brass, strings and piano, and from musicians in all seven year groups of the school. We started with a promising 4th Year Quartet playing a minuet from Mozart’s string quartet in G K 387. This was the first of three Mozart quartets that were heard – the others included a talented 2nd Year ensemble playing the Rondeau from Quartet in G, K80 and a 3rd Year quartet playing the Minuet from yet another quartet in G, this time K 156.

A 5th Year GCSE piano duet of Jason Ng and David Grozin played a charming Spanish Dance No 2 by Moskowski with considerable coordination. Next, a talented brass quartet led by trumpeter, Mohsen Ansari, played Gabrieli’s Canzon à 4. This gave ample opportunity to the GCSE music members of the group to show their mettle in some impressive technically demanding playing – these included Jake de Jongh (trumpet), Tom Hart (trombone) and Arthur Boulton (tuba).

Our Clarinet Septet played a wonderful arrangement of the first movement from the Mozart 13 Wind Gran Partita with some lovely tuneful playing and tremendous commitment throughout. The first half was brought to an impressive conclusion with the first movement of Beethoven’s String Quintet in C. This was really classy playing from a group of music scholars, Alvin Tam, Tom Hart, Alex Glover, Fergal Marsh and Joe Bradley.

After the interval we were delighted to hear the senior wind quintet – William Lam, Iain Storrie, Alex Glover, Reuben Havelock and Tom Preston – in two movements from Hindemith’s Kleine Kammermusik, which they played with great fluency and conviction. A bassoon sextet continued with a clever arrangement of Haydn’s Surprise Symphony. With a range of players from 1st Year (Can Tugcetin) to Lower Sixth (James Ashby), this was a great feast of a piece for the bassoonists and it was excellent to see them in such fine form with their teacher and director, Erica Tugwell.

Our 4th Year Quartet of Ashwin Tennant, Elvis Hung, Nicholas Raptakis and Hugo Payton were in tremendously good form in the Scherzo from Grieg’s Quartet, which they played with their customary conviction and panache. We concluded with a performance from this year’s 5th year Jazz Septet – Raffy Armon-Jones (flute), Jake de Jongh (trumpet), James Magé (bass), David Bicarregui (piano) Hayden Ramm (guitar), Fergal Marsh (bongos) and Saxon Supple (drums). They played Hargrove’s Srasbourg St Dénis with great flair – a most fitting way to end an enjoyable evening of chamber music.

Our thanks must go to all the performers and their teachers, many of whom were able to support the boys at the concert.

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