"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
ARMSTRONG GIBBS FESTIVAL
John's Church, Danbury
the third of these biennial celebrations, Festival Director Robert
Atchison brought his acclaimed London Piano Trio to the Parish Church
in Danbury, where the composer lies buried.
Olga Dudnik, piano, and David Jones, cello, he chose for this year
the Yorkshire Dales Trio: very English music, evocative of a
landscape Gibbs knew well, Walden, with a folk-song feel to its
melodic line, the mournful Whernside, and a dancing Vivace for
Woodale. Beautifully crafted for this intimate combination, and
played with affection and attention to detail.
were joined by William Hawkes, viola, for Mozart's first Piano
Quartet with its exuberant finale, and by Christopher Laurence, bass,
for Schubert's ever-popular Piano Quintet in A. In the Variations
which give it its name, the trout stream was not particularly
fast-flowing, but agreeably limpid with no shortage of sparkle.
enterprising Festival also included a church service, a lunch, and an
organ recital, in which Gillian Ward Russell sashayed down the aisle
for a fascinating programme of works inspired by the dance, from
Susato's Mohrentanz to Rawsthorn's catchy Dance Suite, with more than
a hint of the fairground. Three Sketches by Armstrong Gibbs afforded
a moment or two of quiet contemplation amongst the jigs and gavottes.