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Bridge, Dvorak & Franck

Dvorak: Sonatine, Op.100
Bridge: Mélodie, Berceuse, Amaryllis, Morceau Caractéristique
Franck: Sonata in A

Madeleine Mitchell violin Andrew Ball piano

Conway Hall, London 6.30 p.m. 2 November 2008

Last week we reported on the transfer of the The London Chamber Music Society's South Place Sunday Concerts to Kings Place. There had been a strong feeling amongst Conway Hall loyalists that concert giving there must not cease, and it is good news that the venerable Conway Hall Sunday Concerts themselves (inaugurated 1887; I've been going to them for fifty years!) are continuing under a new Artistic Director, Simon Callaghan [History at http://www.conwayhallsundayconcerts.org.uk/index.php?page=about-concerts].

With informally organised refreshments in the interval, in a room which mounts art displays) the atmosphere is great, and in the gallery, where we always sit, the acoustics are excellent.

Last night, the distinguished violinist Madeleine Mitchell (one-time leader of the Fires of London and famous for her Red Violin) gave a splendid recital with Andrew Ball, her long term collaborator.

The Dvorak Sonatine is a favourite with chamber music players ("intended for youths (dedicated to my two children), but even grown-ups, adults, should be able to converse with it...") and there were a number of children in the audience.

Mitchell & Ball have explored Frank Bridge's violin music in depth, even re-discovering a piece thought to be lost, Morceau Caractéristique, and giving us its only second London performance. They finished with a finely conceived and deeply felt account of the Franck sonata, followed by Massenet's well loved Meditation de Thais as encore.

Check out the weekly concerts at Conway Hall on http://www.conwayhallsundayconcerts.org.uk/.

See Musical Pointers review of CD 'Violin Songs' which includes the Bridge selection played yesterday.
And consider acquiring their NMC disc of Madeleine Mitchell's commissions, NMC D098.