We had a few sleepless nights in the run-up to this concert (performers having to pull out, that sort of thing...) but we were amazingly fortunate in finding others to take their places and the final result was a great success.
German organist Marco Lemme got the evening off to a flying start with a transcription of the Festmusik from Wagner's Meistersinger, returning later to give us more Wagner (a lovely Lohengrin) and a Bach Prelude and Fugue in G.
Claire Haynes played magnificently on concert harp, stepping in for her sister who was indisposed. I particularly enjoyed Rousseau's sumptuous "Variations Pastorales sur un Vieux Noel", which was followed by Andres' atmospheric "Elegie pour la Mort d'un Berger". Then we had a complete change of gear, as local sisters Phoebe and Issy Mansell delighted the audience with half a dozen duets for voice and ukelele - see the first picture below.
We originally scheduled members of the Lea Barn Divertimenti to play a wind quintet but on the night this turned into a wind trio by Vivaldi with piano continuo! Not quite what anyone had been expecting but really big thanks to the players who had to cope with circumstances beyond anyone's control and made a very late change. The cracks didn't show, honest!
Claire then tackled the technical challenges of Spohr's Fantasie for harp, before Marco Lemme returned to the organ to sign off with a rousing Fanfare by Lemmens. To him, as to all the musicians, a massive thank you for bringing our 2013 season to such a fine close.
Click on any of the thumbnails for a larger image
Click on any of the thumbnails to view a bigger image