Trunch Concerts 2017 – Music in an historic Norfolk Church

SATURDAY   8th  JULY 2017 at  7.30 pm


Beethoven: Violin Sonata no. 1 in D, Op 12
Suk: Four Pieces for Violin & Piano, Op 17
Debussy: Sonata for Violin & Piano
Rebecca Clarke: Midsummer Moon
Rautavaara: Notturno & Dansa

As a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the violinist of the celebrated Bernard Roberts Piano Trio, Andrew brings a wealth of experience to this recital. Rachel has collaborated with Andrew over many years and her performances in Trunch have always thrilled audiences.

The Music

Beethoven’s Violin Sonata no 1 in D, Op 12, was written in 1798, when Beethoven star was rising on the Viennese musical scene. It is a work full of joyful interaction between the violin and piano, without any hint of the torment which characterised much of his music after he realised that he was going deaf after an accident later that same year.

Josef Suk’s Four Pieces for Violin & Piano, Op 17, were composed in the spring of 1900, just four years before the death of his friend and Czech contemporary Antonin Dvorak. The pieces are and dedicated to Karel Hoffmann, the fellow violinist with Suk in the Czech Quartet. Richly Romantic in style, the pieces blend passion and lyricism with traditional Czech dance features, such as the Polka or the Dumka, and require stunning virtuosity from the soloist.

Debussy’s Sonata for Violin & Piano, written in 1917, was the composer’s last major composition. He was already suffering with the cancer which prematurely ended his life and the three short movements provide an astonishing range of moods and emotions: it represents, said Debussy, ‘an example of what may be produced by a sick man in time of war’. Deeply affected by the war, he asserted a strong sense of nationalism in his music, which bordered on a definite anti-German feeling. He even signed the score ‘Claude Debussy—musicien français’. This said, the sonata is strongly influenced by gypsy fiddle playing, which he had heard when visiting Budapest in 1910.

Rebecca Clarke’s Midsummer Moon, a relatively short piece, was written and first performed in 1924. Clarke lived a long (1886-1979) and full life. A viola player, born in London, she was one of the UK’s first professional female orchestral players In 1916 she settled in New York and became one of the most respected composers of the inter-war generation. Her music is often compared with that of Bloch or Ravel, both of whom she knew. Midsummer Moon is characterised by a flutter-like solo violin line evoking moonlight.

Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Notturno and Dansa was written in 1933. Rautavaara (1928- 2016) is considered by many to be Finland’s finest composer since Jean Sibelius. He has shown himself able to manipulate twentieth century musical styles in a highly personal and expressive manner. This pair of short pieces makes for a lively conclusion to this evening’s concert.

The Performers

ANDREW ROBERTS studied in London and New York and in 1981 was a founder member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He played with his father and brother in the Bernard Roberts Piano Trio for fifteen years and the Trio recorded CDs of music by Frank Bridge and Stephen Dodgson to critical acclaim.
Andrew has been a member of the Orchestra of the Age Enlightenment for nearly 20 years.
Recent work includes live BBC radio 3 broadcasts of chamber music from St Georges, Bristol and Kings Place, London; concerts at the Finchcocks Keyboard Collection, Kent and the inaugural concert of the Elgar Concert Hall in the University of Birmingham.

RACHEL FRYER studied in Kharkov, Ukraine, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and The Royal College of Music, where she was awarded a Masters Degree in Advanced Performance and many prizes. Rachel is Visiting Lecturer in Piano Studies and Accompanist at the East Sussex Academy of Music in Lewes.
Rachel Fryer is active both as soloist and accompanist. She has performed throughout Britain at venues including Croydon’s Fairfield Hall and St. John Smith’s Square and for music societies including the Beethoven Piano Society. Recent performances include the Grieg piano concerto and Bach’s Goldberg Variations which she has performed in Trunch and which she recorded in 2013.

Andrew and Rachel formed their duo partnership in 2013 to explore the rich repertoire for violin and piano. Their performances at the Brighton Festival have met with considerable acclaim.