Monday, 5 August 2013

Tasty Music Finale The Corn Barn Sutton Barton Music for a sunny summer evening with Hilary Boxer Jane Greenwood, David Cottam and Ruth Molins Summer Serenade for Two 'Cellos, Guitar and Flute Thursday 18 July 2013

Hilary Boxer
founder of  Tasty Music

Following the series of splendid 'Cello concerts at Lympstone Church this summer, Hilary Boxer brought together her collaborators for a triumphal culminating concert at the Corn Barn in Sutton Barton near Cullompton.

Established Tasty Music partners, Ruth Molins and David Cottam, brought flute and guitar respectively to play along with Hilary's 'cello. Ruth and David also played duets together - and David played one of his own solo guitar compositions.

An exciting new addition to the line-up was 'cellist Jane Greenwood, who joined Hilary for some tasty Telemann, flavoursome Francisco Canaro, and scrumptious Scottish traditional tunes.

There was a large and appreciative audience in the Corn Barn to hear the 'Summer Serenade' programme. In the audience were Exeter Bach Society singers Dave Regester and Christine Tully. Also there to hear the music was Andrew Maries, oboist and Consultant for Liturgy and Music at Exeter Cathedral (who will lead the Barnstaple rehearsal for Stephen Tanners eucharist "In the hands of God" for All Saints Day at Exeter Cathedral). With Andrew was one of Hilary's colleagues and admirers, Andrew's daughter, 'cellist Felicity Maries. 

1.  Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739): Sonata in E minor ('cello & harpsichord)
     Transcribed for 'cello & guitar

     Fast and lively dances interspersed with slow and gentle promenades
     - all accompanied by the cries of the swallows in the courtyard.

2.  Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767): Sonata in B (two recorders)
     Transcribed for two 'cellos

     Jane and Hilary take turns to dance around the fretboard
     - friendly glances ensure perfect timing.

3.  Jacques Ibert (1890-1962): Entr'acte (1937) (flute and guitar version)

     Lively 'resquerdo' (flamenco strumming) leads into fast and furious flute playing.
     Sensual solos for guitar and flute - interspersed with more flamenco. Delicious!

4.  David Cottam: Lullaby for Lola (solo guitar)

    Incredibly restful music, with swallow accompaniment from outside.
     David sneaks in that clever, but painful, thumb barré - to great effect.

     Ástor Piazzolla (1921-92)
5.  Histoire du Tango (1986), Part II: Café 1930 (flute and guitar)
6.  Soundtrack of 'Enrico IV' (1984): Oblivion ('cello and guitar)
7.  Libertango (1974) ('cello and guitar)

    The most mellow and contemplative of Piazzolla's tangos is the perfect opening.
     Ruth and David play so smoothly and gently the mood is overpowering.

    'Oblivion', with David's transcription and Hilary's loving touch, is a haunting masterpiece.

    Guitar strumming and 'cello ricochet combine for a rich and toothsome 'Libertango'.
    Piazzolla's foray into jazz gets the full 'Tasty Music' treatment.


     Jane Greenwood takes over the introductions for two soulful duets with Hilary Boxer:

8.  Francisco Canaro (1888-1964): Tiempos Viejos (The Olden Days) (1926)
     (guitars and voice - lyric by Manuel Romero) Transcribed for two 'cellos

     Delicate pizzicato and vigorous bowing from the 'Tasty Music' newcomer, Jane Greenwood.

9.  Juan de Dios Filiberto (1885-1964):
       Cuando Llora la Milonga (when mourning the Milonga) (1927)
          (piano and voice) Transcribed for two 'cellos

     A slow slurring legato converstion between two virtuoso 'cellos.

10. Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909): Recuerdos de la Alhambra (1896) solo guitar

      David Cottam uses a guitar made by Shaun Newman in Crediton
      - intermediate in size between the one known by Tárrega and a modern guitar.
     With his usual intense concentration and attention to detail, David combines the
     rippling tremolo sound from his fingers (the fountains of the Alhambra Palace)
     with the delightful melody drawn out by thumb strokes in the bass. Delicioso!

11. Irish traditional jigs and reels - for 'cello and guitar
     a) Planxty Irwin
     b) Sean Ryan and Dennis Murphy's Polkas
     c) Kid on the Mountain
     d) Banish Misfortune

     David Cottam's take on the harp music of Turlough O'Carolan
     combines guitar and 'cello perfectly.
     Retuning the guitar to a new key, David accompanies incredibly fast 'cello playing
     in 'Kid on the Mountain'.

12. Latin American traditional folk tunes - for flute and guitar
     a) Nesta Rua
     b) Certenea
     c) Ojos Azulos
     d) Little Path in the Mountains
     e) Valentina

     While David recovers from jet-lag, Ruth introduces a medley of flute and guitar favourites.
     Gentle or lively, the flute line is always very clever - singing the vocal line when necessary.

13. Scottish traditional tunes - for two 'cellos
     a) Wedding of Uilleam and Mairi
     b) Skye Boat Song
     c) Harvest Home
     d) Glenlogie
     e) Real Peter Grey

    'Rigs and Jeels' arranged for 'cello duet by Hilary's Guildhall colleague, Bill Thorp.
    One of these pieces was not Scottish - but which one?
    a) With its distinctive rhythm - the wedding song must have been Scottish. It is!
    John Bannerman wrote the song for Mary MacNiven when she won the 1934 National Mod
    and it's was used for a reel by James Cosh in 1959. Can't get much more Scottish than that!
    b) The Skye Boat Song is a familiar Scottish tune - albeit written by an Englishman
    - Sir Harold Boulton (Director of the Royal Academy of Music, 1931, and a Welsh bard!)
     Bill had added several clever links for both 'cellos - played perfectly of course.
    c) 'Harvest Home' is a Scottish sounding song made famous
     by Dunfermline Rock Band 'Big Country' - but Irish!
     A fascinating rhythm with the two 'cellists taking turns to pluck and bow their strings.
    d) Glenlogie, aka "Bonnie Jeannie O Bethelnie", is a Scottish 'Child Ballad', full of atmosphere
    and the sense of ancient drama. (Jeannie's love for Glenlogie is requited, by the way!)
    e) 'Peter Gray' is well known as an American Ballad from the 1850s, but this reel was written
    in 1900 by the Scottish fiddler James Scott Skinner from Banchory - The Strathspey King!
    It definitely sounds Scottish, with very fast harmonies.
    The ending, with a couple of fast bow strokes thrown into a pizzicato line, was perfect.
    Er . . . four-one to Scotland in extra time - I think!

14. Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805): Notturna delle strade di Madrid
         (Night Music of the Streets of Madrid) (1780)
             part VII 'Retreat from Madrid' (string quintet)
                - Transcribed for two 'cellos, guitar and flute

     David's arrangement of Boccherini's final 'Ritirata' is familiar to Russell Crowe fans
     from the movie 'Master and Commander' where Russell and James D'Arcy,
     as captain and first lieutentant, grab a violin and 'cello for an impromptu jamming session
     aboard the HMS Surprise following the capture of the Acheron in the Galapagos (1805).
     The two actors give a fairly convincing performance, but the Corn Barn audience got more.
     David and Ruth played the gentle introduction, before being joined by the two 'cellos
     - Jane and Hilary played several lovely variations, David added the familiar strumming
     (quite natural, for the guitar) and Ruth played some of her most beautiful solos of the evening
     - those extraordinary flute 'glissandi' (which are so difficult) and some lovely melodies.

As the glorious (and long-awaited) summer sun slipped slowly below the horizon, the audience slowly emerged from the delightful trance induced by such a wealth of astounding music. Their warm applause was echoed by the closing words of Corn Barn proprietor, Yta Bachelor. The perfect host as always, Yta said what everyone was thinking - what a delightful evening it had been.

Yta's husband John, who had reluctantly abandoned his farm work to serve everyone drinks in the interval, was fully converted by the end of the concert - quite an endorsement!. Everyone went away uplifted - and hoping for more in the future of course!


Ruth Molins will be in concert again this Thursday! - Full details below.

Meanwhile lets look back over that glorious 'Summer Serenade':

David Cottam
Sounds of Spain
Ruth Molins
Festive Flute

Jane Greenwood and Hilary Boxer
Guitar and Flute Duets
solo playing by Ruth

all playing at the same time - Boccherini 
audience appreciation
A formal vote of thanks:
Yta Bachelor

Corn Barn Proprietor
Appreciative musicians in the audience:
Andrew Maries - oboist
Felicity Maries - 'cellist

Flute: Ruth Molins
(Photo: Ruth's website)
August Lunchtime Concert Series
St Stephen's Church Exeter
Thursday 8 August 1pm
(Ploughman's Lunch served 12pm)
Flute: Ruth Molins
Piano: Dorothy Raven
J S Bach: Flute Sonata in G minor
Christoph Willibald von Gluck:
"The Dance of the Blessed Spirits"
Giuseppe Rabboni: two sonatas
Graham Fitkin: "Jim & Pam & Pam & Jim"
Georges Adolphe Hüe: Fantasia
Admission FREE (lunch £5)


Alan Boxer
(Photo: Cathedral Mar 2012)
Wood Farm Quintet
Cullompton Community Centre
Friday 8 November 7.30pm
Guest Pianist: Susan Steele
Flute: Robert Stevenson
Oboe: Andrew Maries
Clarinet: Chris Gradwell
French Horn: Trevor Ives
Bassoon: Alan Boxer
Also: Hilary Boxer in a 'cello duet
Further details to follow

Full concert listings, as always, at

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