The eagerly awaited concert featuring Jacob Collins and Joe Laredo drew a large audience – programmes were in short supply! With the opening performance of Bach’s ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’, played by Joe, the thoughtful and emotive tone was set. The harmonic rhythm allowed us to linger on phrases in this beautiful piece. Jacob followed this with Bach’s ‘Praeambulum from Partita no. 5’, a joyful and vigorous composition.
Chopin’s ‘Mazurka in A minor’ further developed the pensive and lyrical tone and ended with a sense of questioning possibilities. Jacob’s energetic and commanding performance of the ‘Polonaise in A’ triumphantly answered this, its solid, rich and definite notes sending a positive message. With a swift change of emphasis, Jacob continued with Debussy’s ‘Clair de Lune’, the haunting, poignant melody affecting us all in differing ways. There were such levels of intensity apparent in this performance.
Just before the interval, Joe’s rendition of Debussy’s ‘Golliwogs Cake Walk’ showed us the varied and quirky side of this composer.
After a well deserved resting of the fingers for five minutes, allowing the refilling of tea and coffee cups, Joe and Jacob began the second half with Kreisler's Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani. Kreisler's compositions were cleverly designed to show off his virtuosity on the violin and Jacob certainly 'showed off' his own virtuosity in the most beautiful fashion, and likewise Joe in the piano accompaniment.
Jacob quickly swapped his violin for viola and we were treated to Elegy for viola and piano op. 44 by Glazunov, sensitively played and accompanied, demonstrating the rich and varied tone of the viola.
Brahms’ Hungarian Dance no. 5 in F# minor was originally written for piano duet, so a perfect ending to an excellent concert of varied and emotive music. There were many toes tapping and shoulders swaying to this final piece, which was fantastic to hear, but also mesmerizing to watch!
As always, many thanks should go to Lesley for arranging such a lovely concert – it was a real privilege to hear these accomplished musicians – and to the tea servers who help create such a welcoming atmosphere.
An added bonus was the £106 donated for the organ fund at this concert.
Words by Andrea Hearne, photos by Richard Hearne and Anna Page