LIVE REVIEW: Antony and Friends Concerts

Review of two concerts in September


These informal concerts have begun again at Central Methodist Church, Todmorden

First September Concert

The initial one on 5 September featured Andrew Rostron, violin, and David Leys, cello. The first half was Beethoven’s cello sonata no 3 in A major (op 69). This was a demanding piece in which the cello showed some uncertainty on the high notes.

The second half contained three works: the violin sonata no 3 in G minor by Schubert (D408), the piano trio by Haydn in G major (Hob XV:25) and the Handel Passacaglia in G minor from a keyboard suite. I thought the trio, featuring all three musicians, went down particularly well. A sedate Andante was followed by a serious Poco adagio, finishing with a dazzling Rondo all’Ongarese (presto).

Second September Concert

This concert on the 19th September featured Antony’s brother, Chris Brannick. Chris started out on the piano but was told to become a percussionist when a school production needed one. He seems to have never looked back.

The pieces played ranged from Shostakovich to Sullivan. Scarlatti’s ‘The Cat’s Fugue’ was inspired by a cat walking on the harpsichord. K Blain’s song ‘The Captain’s Whiskers’ acquired extra lines relating to a certain bearded politician.

‘Talk like a pirate day’ was celebrated with a piano duet, ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ (Sullivan) interspersed with piratical repartee. This was followed by Bach’s prelude and fugue in B flat major, its varying moods interpreted on the marimba. In my opinion the cool clarity of this instrument suits Bach’s music.

P Burnell’s ‘The Nightingale March Past’ on the frame drum expressed statistics collated by Florence Nightingale from the Crimean war, coded into drum techniques.

M Cornick’s piano arrangement of ‘Charlie is my Darling’ seemed to require extra forces and three volunteers from the audience joined the brothers, bobbing in to play their bit on the piano when they got a chance.

The concert finished with Saint-Saen’s ‘Swan’ from ‘Carnival of the Animals’, with words by Kit Hesketh Harvey. The song told of all the rubbish thrown into the water and how it trapped the swan.

As usual, there were excellent refreshments and payment by donation. The next concert in the series is on October 17.


Previous articleLIVE REVIEW: Kid Wave
Next articleINTERVIEW: Carlton Melton
I came to Todmorden in 1979 with my record collection but have gradually become converted to live music