Friday the 13th. For the superstitious the date means bad luck, but for Tickhill Music Society it meant a splendid concert. The artists were James Turnbull (oboe and cor anglais) and Libby Burgess (piano) and they made an excellent team. The programme had a neat arrangement with pieces by six British composers sandwiched between a Dane and a German. This year is the 50th anniversary of the birth of Carl Nielsen and so the concert began with two of his Fantasy Pieces, Romance and Humoresque.
The contemporary English composer, Jonathan Dove, wrote his Music for a Lovelorn Lenanshee for the Park Lane Group and featured a staccato piano and a jerky oboe with numerous repetitive phrases. Next came a piano solo In a May Morning, one of three pieces from Sarnia ( which refers to Guernsey), sensitively played. The first half closed with Six Studies in English Folksong by Vaughan Williams. Originally written for the cello it was here played on the cor anglais.
The second half began with Soliloquy by Elgar which did not seem to have many Elgarian ‘fingerprints’. Richard Rodney Bennett gave us Two Country Dances (from a set of four), the second being engagingly perky.
The Gerald Finzi Interlude dates from the 1930s and was originally meant to be part of an oboe quartet never completed.
Finally two movements from Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, written for the piano but here arranged by a French oboist, the first being a Gondoliers’ Song and the second a virtuoso Bees’ Wedding played with lightning fingering.