Professional pianists perform

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Professional pianists perform

Exeter School Piano Festival

To celebrate the arrival of the Steinway piano in the Music Department, Mr Tamblyn is hosting a Piano Festival over the coming 6 months.

The opening event took place on Wednesday after school, when the instrument was put through its paces by the school’s peripatetic piano teachers in a concert organised to inspire our many pupil pianists.

The relaxed event began with the entertaining and popular theme from The Muppets, with a duet arrangement by Mr Cann, which he played with Mr Pettet.

Mr Cann remained on the stage although transported us back several centuries to play the theme from the Goldberg Variations by Bach with delicacy and subtlety, providing a wonderful contrast to the exuberance of the opening piece

Stylistically complementing the Bach, Mendelssohn’s Prelude and Fugue no. 1, op.35 was Mr Daldorph’s classical choice. The unrelenting quavers of the Prelude are a challenge for pianist and page-turner alike, whilst the Fugue’s intricate woven texture delighted the audience.

Mrs Galton took us forward to the early 19th century with Schubert’s Impromptu Op.90 in Eb. Having explained the piece’s form, Mrs Galton’s performance brought all its complex elements together in an impressive rendition.

A short chronological step then took us to Brahms, whose Intermezzo in A Major, op. 118 no.2 was the choice of Mrs Vercoe. Both atmospheric and moving, the piece took on almost theatrical qualities under the blue tint of the stage lights within this sensitive and accomplished performance.

Having persuaded his pianist colleagues to perform, Mr Tamblyn honoured his promise to join them in playing at the concert. Jeux d’Eau by Ravel was an ambitious choice but was impressively carried-off, and was an excellent vehicle to demonstrate the full range of the instrument.

The dynamic range of the instrument was then tested by Mr Pettet, with vigorous rendition of Allegro Barbaro by Bartok. A favourite within Mr Pettet’s repertoire for many years, the audience clearly enjoyed the drama and excitement of his performance.

Mr Hicks brought us 4 movements from a set of contemporary compositions. The Boats, Waves, Sea Breezes and Low Tide come from his own collection, called Sea Pictures. Projecting images to aid the audience in their transportation to the seaside, these pieces were delightful, capturing the beauty, colour and natural drama of the coast.

The concert was concluded with Mr Daldorph returning to the piano, this time playing a medley drawing together some of his favourite jazz standards and demonstrating that the Steinway is equally at home with this genre of music.

With such talented piano teachers, the standard of our informal piano concert, the first in the season of informal concerts, is sure to be high. Come and hear them on 15 November at 4pm.

A recording and the programme of events can be found on the intranet.