DATE PERFORMERS
Sat 23th Sep 2017 Pavel Kolesnikov (piano) (replacing Samson Tsoy)
Sat 21st Oct 2017 Julia Pusker (violin) and Thtomas Ang (piano)
Sat 18th Nov 2017 Andrey Lebedev (guitar)
Sat 24th Feb 2018 Ensemble Reza
Sat 24th Mar 2018 Willshire Piano Duo
Sat 28th Apr 2018 NYJO Ambassadors



Sat 23rd Sep 2017:  PAVEL KOLESNIKOV, piano (replacing Samson Tsoy)

Disaster very nearly struck the start of Haywards Heath Music Society’s 76th concert season on 23 September when piano soloist Samson Tsoy, one of the Society’s most highly esteemed artists, was forced to drop out through illness at less than twelve hours’ notice. It was a worrying time for the organisers but they came up trumps by engaging a superb world class replacement who ensured that the evening was a triumph.
Pavel Kolesnikov, a modest young Russian pianist, came with glowing credentials as a recent BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist who gave a widely acclaimed BBC Proms recital at the Cadogan Hall in August. He more than lived up to his reputation, thrilling the large audience at St Wilfrid’s Church with two hours of spellbinding romantic music.
In the first half, the soloist surmounted with authority and assurance the formidable technical and interpretive challenges of three major German works, Schubert’s Five Valses from D145 and Sonata in A minor D537 and Schumann’s Faschingsschwank aus Wien. This latter five movement piece depicts a Viennese carnival and was referred to by the composer as “a romantic spectacle”.
The second half of an enthralling evening was devoted to a selection of Chopin’s waltzes, impromptus and mazurkas, leading up to two substantial works, Fantasie in F minor and the aptly named Grande valse brillante Op 18. All of these varied pieces were played with sensitivity, poise and charm, and a dash of panache when required. Pavel Kolesnikov then treated us to two delightful and much appreciated encores, Grande valse brillante Op 34 No 1 and posthumous Mazurka in A minor Op 68 No 2.
The recital demonstrated virtuosic but refined playing at its best. With live music of this calibre on our doorstep in the responsive acoustics of St Wifrid’s Church, who would want to go all the way to London for a concert, other than possibly to hear Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy perform Max Bruch’s Concerto for Two Pianos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican on Wednesday 4 October?

June and John Ingleton

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Sat 21st Oct 2017: JULIA PUSKER (violin) and THOMAS ANG (piano)
On Saturday October 21st St Wilfrid's Church resonated to the most glorious ravishing sound of outstanding string playing given by Julia Pusker (violin) with Thomas Ang at the piano. This second concert in Haywards Heath Music Society's 76th season brought together two exciting young players who thrilled the audience with their command of technique combined with consummate musicianship. Playing with impeccable ensemble both artists produced beautifully phrased and vibrant performances, the music dancing along as cascades of scale passages tripped off the fingers.
The excellently chosen programme of classical and romantic works showcased some of the best known pieces in the violin and piano repertoire. Beginning with a Romance by the great Hungarian violinist Joachim, Julia and Thomas went on to play Mozart's Sonata in A major followed by the Rondo Brillante by Schubert.
After the interval we were treated to a compelling performance of one of the greatest  violin works - the Sonata in A major by Franck.This work, full of much loved wonderful melodies, mixes sensitive reflective music with triumphant, ringing grand themes. The audience was completely caught up in the drama of the work in this excellently judged performance.
And so to the last item, the Dance of the Goblins by Bazzini. No-one was in any doubt of Julia's command of technique as she dashed off this fiendishly difficult work with complete ease and panache. A dazzling performance indeed!
To complete the memorable evening Julia and Thomas returned with an encore which transported us to her native Hungary. Brahms' Hungarian Dance no 17 in F minor brought the evening to a triumphant conclusion as the artists were given a terrific ovation by the very appreciative audience. As our chairman said in his vote of thanks, we had enjoyed an evening of passion combined with virtuosity - a sentiment echoed by all present!

Christine Colbourne

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Sat 18th Nov 2017: ANDREY LEBEDEV (guitar)

Classical guitar enthusiasts were treated to a veritable feast of virtuoso playing in the comfortable surroundings of Haywards Heath Methodist Church on Saturday November 18th. Countess of Munster Recital scheme award winner Andrey Lebedev chose a programme which spanned 400 years and encompassed many styles of playing. From Dowland through Bach, Villa-Lobos, Albeniz, Manuel de Falla to the contemporary Australian composer Brett Dean, Andrey displayed a formidable technique allied with impeccable musicianship.
The large audience were amazed at the scope of the guitar repertoire and responded with great enthusiasm to an artist whose engaging personality and dazzling performances had given so much pleasure.

Christine Colbourne


  

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Sat 24th February 2018: ENSEMBLE REZA
The programme for the Haywards Heath Music Society concert on Saturday 24th February looked so appealing on paper that I just had to go! Schubert is one of my favourite composers and I love his string quartets and string quintet. The performance of the Schubert Quartettsatz in C minor, given by the Reza Ensemble got things off to a splendid start. The violin and cello (Miriam Turner and Pavlos Carvalho) distinguished themselves in their intense duetting, whilst the inner parts (Andrew Thurgood and Matthew Quenby) kept up an almost Mendelssohnian dialogue in their busy supporting roles. The harmonies were well defined and propelled the swiftly changing mood and key tonality. As with the famous C Major quintet the mood changed from anxious foreboding to a beautifully poised resignation. The Shostakovitch 8th string quartet, which followed, revealed the depth of feeling that this group of musicians can produce. With strong sonorities and perfect tuning they plumbed the same moods as the Schubert, and found even more passionate dialogues between each other. It was as though the composer was searching for rest and respite, yet never finding it. Miriam’s dark-hued violin tone was constantly challenged by the lower instruments in a musical argument of great profundity. After the interval Pavlos eloquently introduced the final work, Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic’ String Quartet, and assured the full audience that the group were now going to ‘de-tox the pain and anguish’ of the earlier works. And in this warm and romantic piece we discovered much charm and melody in the four contrasted movements. As the title suggests this piece was bathed in the Slavonic colours that are familiar from the composer’s better known ‘Slavonic Dances’. The second movement was a stately Dumka (literally a ‘Lament’) of great beauty, which contrasted with its alternating and passionate ‘furiant’. The Romanza was full of lovely folk melodies and revealed Miriam Turner’s glowing violin tone again. The finale demonstrated how much Dvorak owed to his predecessor Smetana, with little hints of the ‘Bartered Bride’ showing through. A delightful evening ended with a well-chosen encore – a gentle Waltz by Dvorak, which was underpinned by the distinctive cello-playing of Pavlos Carvalho.
Neil Jenkins


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Sat 24th March 2018: THE WILLSHIRE DUO (piano duet)
The large audience at Saturday's concert was treated to an outstanding display of piano playing by the internationally acclaimed Willshire Duo - husband and wife James Willshire and Pippa Harrison. They had prepared an intriguing programme which explored some unfamiliar works as well as Rimsky-Korsakov's much loved symphonic suite Scheherazade.
The programme began with four Polonaises by Schubert: joyful, rhythmic, toe twinkling music which demonstrated the perfect ensemble between the players.
This year is the centenary of Claude Debussy's death on March 25th 1918. So it was entirely appropriate that just one day earlier - March 24th 2018 - we should hear some of his music. The six Epigraphes Antiques were not perhaps familiar to most of the audience but were indeed a revelation. These wonderful pieces, Debussy called them "Etchings" or "Portraits", brought many of Debussy's other piano works to mind. We heard echoes of the Girl with the Flaxen Hair along with ostinati and the oriental and bell sounds much used by the composer in his music. The technique used to produce these sounds was faultless and the audience listened entranced. James told us that he is touring the country playing all of Debussy's piano music in this centenary year.
New to virtually everyone there were two Chinese folk songs: Song for New Year's Day and Song of the Crab Fisher written by the Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson in 1955.These simple songs, imaginatively arranged, transported one immediately to China. This was happy, effervescent music complete with cascades of notes. As James and Pippa said, they are nowhere near as easy to play as the title suggests!
So to the final work which took up the whole of the second half -   the sublime orchestral work by Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade. In performing this work the Duo exhibited the full scale of their technical virtuosity, sensitivity and interpretation. From the moment the Sultan's majestic notes rang out followed by Scheherazade's gentle and mellifluous theme, the audience sat captivated while one by one the stories were brought to life.  As we set sail with Sinbad the sailor the Duo produced all the instrumental colour and sounds of an orchestra. The shipwreck was superbly realised with exciting runs of notes building from climax to climax. At last we came safely to port and the soloists received tremendous acclaim for an unforgettable display of musical talent.
This was a concert which will live long in the memory.

Christine Colbourne

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Sat 28th April 2018: NATIONAL YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA AMBASSADORS

awaiting review


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