The concert opened with Antony Brannick playing Beethoven’s piano sonata no 18 (in E flat, op 31 no 3). This was a piece of varying moods, well conveyed, from formal to playful and from placid to forceful. It ended with a rousing and expansive presto.
Then we had the guests for the evening, the Elmet Quintet, consisting of Rachael Gibbon on clarinet, with Richard Webster and Alison Mordey on violins, Robin Pennie on viola, and Caroline Steer on cello. This group combined beautifully, both as a quintet and in a piece in the second half, the formal and melodious first movement of Hoffmeister’s duo (in C major, op 6 no 1) featuring Richard Webster and Caroline Steer.
Their first piece was Stanford’s atmospheric Fantasy no 1. The strings set up a rhythmic march, and the clarinet introduced a melody, which the strings then echoed: the pace varied throughout, with the clarinet leading.
The concert concluded with Weber’s clarinet quintet (B flat major, Op 34). This had varying pace and moods, concluding with a technically brilliant and vital rondo.
Look out for the next concert on 14th October.