ROCHDALE MUSIC SOCIETY CONCERT REVIEW 17 September 2022 The Sveta and Slava Duo by Graham Marshall
The first of the Rochdale Music Society’s 2022-23 Series of concerts took place on Saturday, September 17th at 3.00 pm in St. Michael’s Parish Church, Bamford. The Sveta and Slava Duo, cellist Svetlana Mochalova and pianist Slava Sidorenko, performed music from the early Romantic era to the 21st century.
They began with a set of three Fantasy pieces by Schumann. These were originally going to be called ‘night pieces’, and the somewhat nocturnal feel to them was clearly to be felt in the dreamlike warmth of the performance which revealed the deep artistic understanding of each other’s technical accomplishment enjoyed by this husband and wife duo.
Two very similar pieces followed: Fauré’s ‘Après un rêve’ and Elgar’s ‘Salut d’amour’. These delighted the audience by their musical outpouring of restrained, yet impassioned, romantic love well conjured up by the subtle touches of the players.
In almost stark contrast, the music of the next piece, ‘Il bell’Antonio’ by Giovanni Sollima - an adaptation of a theme from a 2005 Italian film - provided the players with an opportunity to demonstrate their equal capacity for communicating the drama of a sense of brooding loneliness.
And so, in a sense, did the next piece, an arrangement of Debussy’s song, ‘Beau soir’ (Beautiful evening) with its portrayal of the sense of peace to be felt in our youth on a warm, summer evening leading on to the unsettling realisation that everything has to come to its appointed end: the river goes to the seas, human life to the grave.
The penultimate work was the Introduction and Polonaise brillante in C major by Chopin. This is one of the composer’s early works (Op. 3) and challenges both performers to build up a sparkling dialogue of technical brilliance, to which Sveta and Slava responded with full marks plus!
The programme ended with a Spanish flavour conjured up by the contemporary, prolific Russian composer, Rodion Shchedrin. His ‘In the style of Albéniz’ made for a warm and colourful end to an attractive and engaging programme. Though not quite the end on this occasion, because the audience inevitably wanted an encore and they were rewarded with an entrancing account of Saint-Saens’ ‘The Swan’
There had been a large attendance, and after the concert members of the audience were to enjoy a Cream Tea served by Trustee members of the Society: altogether a very enjoyable afternoon.
The next two Rochdale Music Society concerts will also be held in St. Michael’s Church, Bamford, beginning at 7.30pm. On 15 October the Pomegranate Trio will play Piano Trios by Fauré, Debussy and Ravel. On 19 November the brothers Oscar and Barney Tabor will play a range of music for Violin and Piano from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Tickets may be reserved by ringing 01706 642139 (Graham) or purchased at the door on the night from 7.00pm. Visit www.rochdalemusicsociety for up-to-date information.