I suppose we could be accused sometimes of 'playing safe' with the music we programme, certainly we are aware that some of our audience like to hear pieces they recognise. But this recital for voice and piano was a real voyage of discovery and certainly the first time that a singer has performed for us in Norwegian, French, Icelandic, German, English, Scots and Swedish all in one evening! Aside from her multilingual skills, Caroline Slade sung beautifully throughout; there may have been quite a lot of Nordic melancholy in the material but I loved Thea Musgrave's "Suite o' Bairnsangs" which provided a spirited contrast. Jonny Lane accompanied sensitively throughout: I don't know if he felt as calm as he looked but he certainly delivered a rock-solid underpinning to the songs. Alongside the vocal works we had two sets of piano solo from Roland Slade, bringing us music by Sibelius and Borodin - again, unusual choices. Sibelius wrote a great deal for the piano but his output is seldom performed, while Borodin wrote very little. So we are most grateful to all the performers for introducing us to some lovely music on a night when the wind and rain provided a suitably Baltic background!
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