Lunchtime Classical Concerts

Lunchtime Classical Music Concerts are held in St Martin’s Church Hall, at 12.15 pm, on the last Wednesday of the month (except, July, August and December).

There is a retiring collection which is used to defray the considerable expenses associated with these concerts - artistes fees, hall hire, publicity materials - and for the benefit of the Myosotis Trust.  The concerts are arranged on a voluntary basis for the benefit of the community and receive no subsidy of any kind.  Your generosity is much appreciated. Thank you.

The concerts are held in St Martin's Church Hall, adjacent to the church.  Directions to the church, public transport and parking details can be found on our location page.

Concert Programme

Wednesday 28th February - Ashley Fripp (piano)

British pianist, Ashley Fripp, has been described as “a genuine virtuoso, an astoundingly brilliant and masterly pianist, and his total grasp of the music is a joy to hear.” 

He frequently appears as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist in many of the world's most prestigious concert halls, having performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Australia.

Ashley, who is a regular performer at St Martin’s, has prepared a wonderful programme for our February concert.

J S Bach’sPartita No. 2 in C minor, will be followed by the charming original piano version of Weber’s Invitation to the Dance. A set of four delightful Chopin Mazurkas Op 24 will precede the climax of the concert, Chopin’s Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante. Here the thematically exquisite Andante spianato section is followed by the technically demanding and magnificent grande polonaise brillante.

You will be most welcome to attend.

Wednesday 28th March - Valentin Schiedermair (piano)

 

Valentin is one of our most popular artists, with his engaging introductions to each piece he performs

Wednesday 25th April - Tommaso Carlini (piano)

 

Tommaso is flying in from Italy for a series of concerts in London, one of which will be at St Martin’s Ruislip. Tommaso plays a wide repertoire of classical music but specializes in the works of Chopin and Liszt.

 

Lunchtime Classical Concerts - Reviews

Wednesday 29th November - Masayuki Tayama (piano) 

Masayuki Tayama, one of today’s most accomplished pianists, delivered a remarkable performance at our November concert. His rendering of the second and third Chopin Scherzos was masterful; bringing out not only the beautiful melodies but also the excitement within these brilliant works.

As a Rachmaninoff specialist, his playing of the 9 Etude Tableau (study pictures) Op. 39, which were written at the height of Rachmaninoff’s compositional powers, and were amongst the last works he composed while living in his beloved Russia, before he was forced to flee the Russian revolution and emigrate to America, was magical.

The encore ending the concert was the delightful Waltz in C sharp minor Op. 64 No. 2. by Chopin. I, for one, returned home uplifted.

Wednesday 25th October -  Mengyang Pan (piano) 

About 100 people came to hear Mengyang’s concert, which started with the passionately melodic Sonata in F minor (K166) by Domenico Scarlatti, followed by the 3 tone pictures of Debussy’s Image Book II.

Her programme continued with very expressive and moving performances of Liszt’s Funerailles and his piano transcription of Wagner’s Isolde’s Liebestod (transfiguration).

Finally the mood changed, and we were treated to a wonderful rendition of Gershwin’s own piano arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue and a perfectly matched encore of Nikolai Kapustin’s virtuosic Jazz Etude No 1 (op 40). Oh, what an exciting conclusion to a brilliantly played concert.

It was heartening to hear so many of our audience remarking at the end of the concert, on how much they had enjoyed it.

Wednesday 27th September -  Michal Szymanowski (piano) 

Photo from Chopin Competition in Warsaw  by: NIFC / Wojciech Grzędziński

There is always something magical about Chopin’s music when it is played by a consummate artist, like Michal Szymanowski.

So it was during his September concert when we were treated to a full hour of exquisitely and sensitively played Chopin works.

This concert was arranged in preparation for him competing in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Darmstadt, Germany in early October.

Michal's programme comprised: Four Mazurkas Op 17 (for which he won the Mazurka prize at Darmstadt), Ballade no 4 Op 52, Waltz Op 34 No 1, and Sonata no 3 Op 58.

This was an altogether uplifting concert.

We are delighted that Michal reached the final stage of the competition in Darmstadt and was awarded 4th prize.

Wednesday 28th June - Jeannette Ager (mezzo soprano) and Viv McLean (piano) 

It is quite widely recognised that audience numbers tend to be slightly lower at local concerts which feature singers. So it was at our July concert. Quite why this is remains a mystery, but this should in no way detract from the performance of Jeanette Ager and Viv McLean.

Jeanette’s characterful singing and Viv’s attentive and sensitive accompaniment held ones attention throughout their charming programme, which comprised: Brahms’s ‘Zigeunerlieder (Gipsy songs) Opus 103’, Ravel’s ‘Chants Populaires (Folk songs)’ and a selection of folk song arrangements by Britten. In all Jeanette sang in 7 languages.

For me the highlights of the concert were Jeanette’s and Viv’s interpretation of Britten’s Last Rose of Summer, O Waly Waly with its wonderful ascending chords in the accompaniment and Sally Gardens.

After I had finished clearing up the hall, a report reached me that the talk in the lady’s cloakroom after the concert was how much they had all enjoyed the concert. Reward indeed for all those who did attend this delightful concert.

Wednesday 31st May 2017 - Renata Konyicska (piano) 

Although the first half of the concert comprised some of Franz Liszt’s less familiar works, the performance was so sensitive that my attention was rapt throughout.

Renata managed to bring out a very expressive dynamic and wonderful singing tone from the piano which so enhanced the music I was hearing for the first time - Saraband and Chaconne from Almira (Liszt/Handel), Impromptu in F sharp major (Liszt) and Six Polish Songs (Liszt/Chopin). 

These pieces were followed by an exquisite performance of Schubert’s Impromptu in A flat major, which must surely be very familiar to all lovers of the piano repertoire.  Finally, in spite of the huge technical difficulties of Liszt’s operatic fantasy, Reminiscences de Don Juan, based on themes from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, Renata seemed totally relaxed and at one with the piano and those familiar themes from the opera sang out from the music.

“A most memorable concert” was a comment from one of our regular audience members.

Wednesday 26th April 2017 - Tommaso Carlini (piano) 

After announcing a slight change in the order of play, Tommaso started his concert with Beethoven’s own favourite Sonata, No 24 in F sharp major. This charming work, is unusual in that it has only two movements, and the emotive theme in the opening 4 bars marke d‘adagio cantabile’, does not appear again anywhere in the sonata. 

Next there was a stirring rendition of the Bach/Busoni Toccata and Fugue in D minor(BWV565), which caused one of our audience to remark at the end of the concert, that although this was his first hearing, he now preferred the Busoni transcription to the original organ version. 

Although the Six Intermezzi Op 4 by Robert Schumann, which formed the centre-piece of the concert, was perhaps less familiar to our audience, I found myself listening with rapt attention at this expressive and masterly rendition. 

The concert ended with a technically brilliant performance of Liszt’s Reminescences de Norma S394, which left me breathless.

Wednesday 29th March 2017 - Valentin Schiedermair (piano) 

A Valentin Schiedermair performance is more than just a concert….it is a musical event. Valentin engages with his audience and draws on all his exceptional background and experience to take them on a musical journey. His objective is simple - to share the joy and excitement of music with his audience. At his recital on 29th March, Valentin did not disappoint, and it is easy to understand why he remains one of our most popular artists, attracting a large enthusiastic audience.

His well balanced programme, comprised Two Preludes and Fugues by J S Bach, Three Piano Pieces D.946 by Franz Schubert and three delightful Chopin waltzes, with each piece prefaced by an interesting back-story, which contributed to both the understanding and enjoyment of the music. A masterly performance indeed.

Wednesday 22nd February 2017 - Helen Wilson (flute) and Gamal Khamis (piano) 

It was very encouraging to have so many people come up and say how much they enjoyed this concert.

The first half was filled with wonderful melodies from Bizet’s opera ‘Carmen’, Mozart’s Andante in C, Faure's Fantasie for flute and piano and Brahms’ Intermezzo in A major for solo piano.

The second half comprised César Franck’s Sonata in A Major, which, although originally written for violin and piano, converted beautifully to the arrangement for flute and piano, and was exquisitely played by Helen and Gamal.

Wednesday 25th January 2017 - Haruko Seki (piano) 

In spite of it being a very cold and foggy morning, over 110 people attended Haruko Seki’s successful concert on 25th January.

It started with a very sensitive performance of a selection of Chopin’s Preludes. This sensitivity continued into the playing of the far more technically demanding works by Liszt and Prokofiev, which is always a sign of a truly skilled pianist.

The concert concluded with a delightful and amusing rendition of Mozart’s musical joke, ‘A Slice of Bread and Butter’, in which, Haruko told us, Mozart gave the instruction that the right hand part was to be played with one finger, which she did.

The audience clearly left in an uplifted mood.