LIVE REVIEW: Antony and Friends, Central Methodist Church Todmorden, 10th September


Composer Daniel Bath was this concert’s special guest. The concert began with two lively Hungarian dances by Brahms, no 3 and no 5, the second also known as “Hungarian Goulash” since words have been written for it.

Beethoven’s inventive “Variations in C minor” followed. Then Daniel Bath gave a demonstration of near-instant composing. The audience supplied various notes: D, G, F#, F#, E, E, Bb, and B. The resulting tune was in turns moody, dramatic and romantic.

The second half began with Daniel Bath’s setting of parts of the late Ian Emberson’s novel in verse, “Pirouette of Earth”, set in the time of the Spanish civil war and ranging from England to Spain. My favourite songs were “Next Day as Evening Dimmed the Light” about a dog’s funeral, “We will hold Hands over the Darkness”, a hopeful song about peace returning, and “About the Year What’s Ending”, a boy’s satirical poem.

The concert ended with Jacques Brel songs. My favourite was “Madeleine”, about the girlfriend who doesn’t turn up.

The next concert, on October 22, will feature Carisse White (flute) and David Leys (cello).

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I came to Todmorden in 1979 with my record collection but have gradually become converted to live music