30 September 2021

The first Solo Concert Platform of the year showcased the high level of musical talent that has been sustained during the stresses and strains of lockdown. There was an incredibly high standard of playing overall, across a diverse range of repertoire.

Oliver Glover started off proceedings with a lamenting rendition of Faure’s Elegie, which was played with the assuredness of a very experienced performer. We followed with Boco To’s performance of the Brahms ‘Romance’ which deftly brought out the melodic line amongst a tricky texture. Justin Mi offered an exciting, speedy account of CPE Bach’s Solfeggietto. It was particularly nice to have Justin represent Lower School with such a confident playing of a demanding piece. Moving on we had Jimmy Ip’s stellar performance of Burgmuller’s ‘Cloches de Martines’ and Thomas Zhang’s equally impress­­­­ive playing of ‘Les Perles’ by the same composer.

Julien Rohart’s account of Mozart’s Flute Concerto was impressive for its stamina and its articulation: the delicate, quick repeated notes throughout the movement were clear and confidently handled. Humphrey Lee, also on the flute, offered a moving rendition of the 2nd movement of Poulenc’s Flute Sonata which handled some of the sinewy melodic lines with real subtlety. Ruairi Macdonald also impressed with the Prince of Denmark march on the trumpet.

Laurence Peverall confidently handled the contrasts between the chordal sections and the more agitated central section in Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C-sharp minor. Similarly, Yubo Gao’s account of the Schubert Ab Major Impromptu was excellent for its bold contrasts between the powerful chordal material and more delicate melodic passages. The concert closed with Oliver Smith and Josef O’Connor who both gave impressive, memorised performances of the Elgar’s Chanson de Martin and Melartin’s Barcarolle respectively.

Overall, the standard of performance was truly impressive and certainly bodes well for the future of music at Abingdon School. It was incredibly rewarding to hear all these musicians play music in person again after such a long period of virtual performances. Long may it continue.

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