Bradley Creswick and Margaret Fingerhut spell-binding in Chichester

Margaret Fingerhut
Margaret Fingerhut

REVIEW by Chris Linford

The Funtington Music Group welcomed Bradley Creswick,[violin] and Margaret Fingerhut [piano]to the autumn season opening concert, held at the University of Chichester, on 11 September. This was one of the most memorable concerts run by the Group, as these two internationally renowned musicians, playing largely, but not exclusively, music by French composers, held the audience with some spell binding performances.

The concert opened with Sonate pour violon et piano by Debussy. This piece has an undercurrent of nervous energy which allowed both players to exquisitely highlight the sound colours and atmospheric qualities of the work, playing so well together, minutely crafting their performances, from the dreamy and full of promise opening, to the rhapsodic haunting melodies that emerge during the performance. The audience gave rapturous applause, which continued throughout the evening.

This was followed by Sonata in A Major by Franck. This was another riveting performance by Bradley Creswick, where he employed a huge dynamic range, and expertly managed the ever-changing mood and tempo that the piece demanded. The accompaniment by the ever-attentive and supremely accomplished Margaret Fingerhut was also entirely sympathetic and technically memorable.

After the interval and a beautiful rendition of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, the duo transported the audience to Central Europe with an exhilarating performance of Kreisler’s March Miniature Viennoise.

The final piece was Tzigane by Ravel. Begun before World War One, Ravel finished it in 1917, after he had experienced life changing events as a stretcher bearer on the Western Front. It is a difficult show-piece, where the music accelerates and decelerates time and again, so the musician has to be sensitive when called for, and then turn into a full blooded impetuous gypsy violinist. Bradley achieved this contrast brilliantly.

After a rousing encore Chris Hough, Chairman of the Funtington Music Group said, “Wow, what a fabulous concert! Bradley’s infectious stage presence was particularly engaging, and his performance was a real joy which was obviously appreciated by our audience. Margaret’s sensitive and spirited accompaniment allowed the duo to bring out all the variety and colours of the music to great effect. We look forward to welcoming back both musicians.”

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Elizabeth Brooks, on 01 243 378900.

REVIEW by Chris Linford

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