Talented Emily’s super homecoming

Emily Mowbray, Polly Virr and Tom Hicks
Emily Mowbray, Polly Virr and Tom Hicks

Judi Moore reports on Emily Mowbray and friends at Leighton Buzzard Music Club, October 11.

One of Leighton’s most talented daughters returned home to play with two of her friends from the Royal Northern College of Music – Polly Virr and Tom Hicks . The well-filled theatre enjoyed an imaginative programme performed with talent, skill, flair and passion

Emily and Polly opened with Johan Halvorsen’s Passacaglia in G Minor, based on a piece by Handel, chock-full of fireworks for both violin and ‘cello. Next, Tom’s piano solo, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in E minor Op.90 (first movement) demonstrated what a lovely flowing style he has. Tom was joined by Emily for an exhilarating performance of Sarasate’s Gipsy airs (Op 20. Shostakovich’s Sonata for ‘Cello and Piano in D minor (Op 40) changed the mood, enveloping us in vapours of loss and yearning.

Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir d’un lieu Cher, (Op 42, No 1 “Meditation”), played by Tom and Emily, was immensely rich and gorgeous. The first half concluded with a tiny solo piece composed by the American Mark Summer: Concert etude No 1, “Julie-O”. Polly plucked and slapped her ’cello, then launched into a fiddle tune, which became jazz, which morphed into bluegrass – completely wowed we stood up for the interval.

The second set comprised the Trio élégiaque No 2 in D minor (Op 9) by Rachmaninov, composed to honour the early, sudden death of Tchaikovsky. The opening movement is funereal, rising to a place where the spirit may fly away, then tumbling down into a pit of grief – this reinforced by the image before us of the two young women, bowing furiously, as if they were the Fates themselves, spinning and measuring the lives of us poor mortals. It is a monumental Trio and received warm and prolonged applause.

> Our reviewer’s novella ‘Little Mouse’ is now available from online booksellers in paperback and Kindle formats