The two most appealing things about summer lunchtime recitals at St Andrews are the diversity of styles on offer, and the range of musical expertise of the performers, from professional to amateur, and well-seasoned, to primary-school novices.
The Gala Concert of this year’s Peninsula Arts Words and Music Festival was in many ways a joyful affair, full of schmaltzy melodies, lush orchestrations, conductor Simon Ible’s now-legendary successful mix of styles, and the contribution from soprano soloist, Jeni Bern.
There couldn’t have been a better way to kick off this season’s series of Summer Recitals than Ed Jones’s outstanding performance at the splendid St Andrew’s organ.
It takes a lot of organising to plan a lunchtime recital series with almost twenty weekly events – to say nothing of needing to be on hand each time, just in case something goes wrong.
St Andrew’s Lunchtime Summer Recitals provide a welcome opportunity for anyone in the city centre to pop in, and perhaps have something to eat, as time permits. For the mainly-local recitalists involved, it can offer an eminently less-formal performance platform.
Most of us can remember our school concerts, whether we took part, or were just there to listen.
When the University of Plymouth Choral Society presents its annual Christmas Concert, you can always expect a varied programme of shorter, and often less-familiar works, excellent young soloists, and, most important, a tangible feeling of genuine enjoyment from the choir.