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Agapanthus Duo Report

Hawick Music Club press report following the Agapanthus  Performance on September 12th 2021

Andrew Sherwood took to the floor with James Letham on Sunday 20th February as Agapanthus Duo in St Cuthbert's Church at 2.30 pm for Hawick Music Club. The concert had been previewed by BBC TV Borders as it was to feature Andrew playing a violin found in the trenches of the first World War. The atmosphere was such that one could almost sense the ghost of its original owner who was probably a German WW1 soldier.

       The power of music and lyric can be strong and so it proved to be when Andrew read out the words to the Road to Passchendaele and then played his own arrangement of the piece. This was composed by Scocha’s Alan Brydon and Major {Ret} Gavin Stoddart BEM, MBE.

          The WW1 violin had been brought home by Major John Paterson who subsequently died in the trenches himself. The violin had not been played for 80 years but sang out as a reminder of what we may shortly be facing as a nation currently at the brink of war.

            We have experienced a more recent passing in the Music Club, that of Louise Wallace who was our secretary for many years. Andy and Jim dedicated Three Old Viennese Dances by Fritz Kreisler:1-Liebesfreud,2-Liebesleid 3-Shon Rosmarin to her memory. They were pretty and sprightly just as she had been. Composed just before he went to war in the first World War trenches.

            Four Aquarelles for violin and piano 1-Idyll 2-Humoresque 3-Lullaby 4-Polish dance was romantic Swedish music so loved by Andy that he acknowledged Tor Aulin as inspiring him as a young violinist.

         A dramatic Tarantelle told of a man being stung by a Tarantula {Frederic Alfred d’Erlanger}

In order to emphasise that this was definitely a classical concert core music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Sonata No 10 for piano and violin K378

iAllegro moderato

iiiAndante sostenuto e cantabile

iiiRondo {Allegro}

and Ludwig van Beethoven;

Sonata No 8 for piano and violin Op 30 No3

I Allegro assai

I Tempo di menuetto molto moderato e grazioso

Iii Allegro vivace

was featured. Andy and Jim entertaining and educating us in a relaxed style.

Travelling By Tuba Report

Hawick Music Club press report following the Travelling by Tuba Performance on September 12th 2021

In Hawick, the term Pleasant Sunday Afternoon is usually associated with the PSA Choir, but it’s a phrase I would readily apply to last Sunday afternoon’s concert – Travelling by Tuba – hosted by Hawick Music Club.  Sunday’s performers – Stewart Death (piano) and Chris Cranham (tuba) had their audience captivated right from the start with a mix of quality musicianship, playful education and great humour.

The programme introduced us to works by Brahms, Purcell, Telemann, Mozart and Gershwin as well as lesser-known composers Hartmann, Lebedev, Corwell, Kern, Kreisler and Monti.

Starting with Brahms Hungarian Dance played on piano and tuba, Stewart and Chris used the gaps between their published programme to introduce us to, and demonstrate, an amazing array of wind and brass instruments, starting with a conch shell and including instruments the names of some I had never heard.  (My scribbled notes said “Officlyde” – I have since discovered this should be “Ophicleide”!) The Ophicleide was used to play a haunting Pavane by Peter Warlock.

“Suzzaphone” (in my notes) is of course a “sousaphone” – Chris “wore” it - a valved brass instrument with the same tube length and musical range as other tubas. The sousaphone's shape is such that the bell is above the tubist's head and projecting forward. The valves are situated directly in front of the musician slightly above the waist and all of the weight rests on the left shoulder.  Kern’s Ol’ Man River sounded lovely on this instrument.

The Audience were treated to a performance of Mozart’s Rondo from his 4th Tuba Concerto!  Except there is no such thing!  Mozart wrote his Concerto for Horn!  Travelling by Tuba made this piece their own by playing it on the Tuba with piano accompaniment.  The tuba had not been invented in Mozart’s time!

Not many pieces have been written for Tuba and piano, so it was nice to listen to a piece which had been a test piece at college for our two performers – Konzert by Lebedev.

Chris played New England Reveries by Neal Corwell solo.  This piece was written specifically for tuba with a pre-recorded synthesizer accompaniment and is intended to evoke images of the beauty of New England's varied landscapes. The slow and serene opening and closing portions of the composition are balanced by the contrasting livelier middle section.  I found this piece haunting and have enjoyed listening to it again at home.

This was followed by Three Preludes by Gershwin played by Stewart on the piano, which had the audience gently swaying and their feet tapping.

The concert was rounded off by Monti’s Czardas. An encore was inevitable and the audience left Hawick Rugby Football Club Rooms feeling they had enjoyed a thoroughly pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Ugly Bug Rag Time Report 

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Hawick Music Club press report following the Ugly Bug Ragtime Three Performance on August 22nd 2021
 

The Ugly Bug Ragtime Three were in fine form on Sunday 22 nd August at the Rugby and Football
Club function rooms at Mansfield Park. Over 60 members and visitors experienced a slightly more
reflective performance than in the past appropriate to the times we are living in.
With John Burgess on Saxophone and clarinet, Ross Milligan on Banjo and Andrew Sharkey on
Double Bass, they were soon off to a flying start with the up-beat ‘That’s a Plenty ’ by Lew Pollack-1914 with John Burgess on Saxophone.
‘I’m Alone Because I Love You’-Young/Shuster-1930 despite the comic lamenting about his own state of affairs by John Burgess was subtle.
‘ Once In A While’-William Butler-1927was a number made famous by Louis Armstrong.
‘Lousiana Fairytale’-Parish/Gillespie/Coots-1935 was a piece in which John Burgess brought out his clarinet and was utterly sublime.
‘New Orleans Shuffle-Half Way House Orchestra-1928’ was as its name suggests a shuffle.
‘I Found A New Baby’-Palmer/Williams-1926 opened with John Burgess’ characteristic trill.
A Fats Walla comic ditty – a solo by Ross Milligan in which he also sang came next it told the tale of a hotel porter who has a crush on a chambermaid.
‘Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen’-Jacobs/Secunda-1932 was leisurely.
‘ Bason Street Stomp ‘-Jimmy McPartland1957 completed the set. The UBRT having entertained in equal measure with frequent solos rewarded by applause from the audience adding to the atmosphere.

Hawick Music Club is helped By Chamber Music Scotland Charity No.#SC008473