In a change of programme, the dynamic duo of violinist Lizzie Ball and classical accordion player Miloš Milivojević presented a trip around the world in music. This was another adventurous concert in Shropshire Music Trust’s 2021/2022 series; the venue was the theatre at Prestfelde School.
From the opening bars of Bartok’s Six Romanian Folk Dances, it was obvious that a high octane evening was in store; the two instruments each exploited their lower registers. The Dances were rhythmic, aggressive and unmistakeably by Bartok. It also brought out the character of this unusual combination in which each individual voice was of equal weight and each carried enormous emotional significance. The programme notes described the final work of the first half: “Tango Pour Claude” by Richard Galliano as an infectious composition which is a glorious burst of tango colour. How true! And it summed up the whole gig-and the musicians made sure that every moment delivered another burst of colour.
Astor Piazzolla contributed three works; he is truly the father of the tango, and his three movements from “Histoire du Tango” traced its evolution from the brothels of 1900 to the night clubs of 1960. These were given marvellous, vibrant performances just right for them. By contrast, “Nana” by Manuel de Falla was an exquisite lullaby which showed Milos’s fine musicianship-his accordion’s sound died away so gently we scarcely realised the piece had finished.
Lizzie sang the famous “La Vie en Rose”- who can forget the unique voice of Edith Piaf in this song which never topples into sentimentality. Lizzie also sang in the Hoe Down Medley by Aaron Copland – her husky, chocolate-rich voice was a delight. There were also works by Ravel and Russian composer Viacheslav Semenov but a special mention must be made of their encores.
The first was the famous Czardas by Monti; it was played at hypersonic speed! By contrast, the final work was a tribute to the people of Ukraine. It was an arrangement of Ukrainian folk songs by violinist Illia Bondarenko. Its unbearable beauty was greeted by the audience with a silence which suitably reverential.
Another fine concert from the Shropshire Music Trust.
Shropshire Music Trust’s most recent contribution to the music scene [at Prestfelde School] was a triumph and also provided some reflection and an opportunity to contribute to funds for supporting Ukraine.
For the third concert in their series “From Vienna to Moscow”, the Carducci Quartet performed works by Schubert, Beethoven and Shostakovich. St Alkmund’s Church was the perfect venue for what has proved to be a triumph for Shropshire Music Trust; it has been a wonderful return to live music after too long a break.