Concert in the Senior Common Room, Tuesday 22 May 2018
Minami Takahashi and Will Cesta organised an array of talent from St John’s and Women’s College, as well as St Andrew’s, to play intimate music of varying genres in the fine acoustics of the Senior Common Room.
Emphasising Andrew’s origins, the evening opened with Charlie Hunter on the small bagpipes and Titus Grenyer on the fiddle playing old favourites ‘Montgomery’s Maggot’ and ‘Train Journey North’. Titus followed on the Steinway piano with ‘Autumn Crocus’ by Billy Mayerl, a reminiscence of Mayerl’s ‘Marigold’ which he played so well at the Palladian recently.
Rachel Jeffreson, the only singer of the evening, accompanied by Will Cesta, reprised her Palladian success with the new dramatic scena ‘Last Night When I Returned’ by Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne.
Will Nichols brought his harp from St John’s and we did ask him to play. He performed the elaborate and most effective ‘Ballade Fantastique’, by the French harpist, Henriette Renie, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s spine-chilling Gothic short story ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’.
Annabelle Traves was a welcome visiting violinist from Women’s. Annabelle gained first place in the Palladian Instrumental Solo this year, but moved away from the glitter of Sarasate to the sensuality of Massenet’s famous entr’acte called ‘Meditation’ from his opera Thaïs. She was sensitively accompanied by Will Cesta.
Minami Takahashi, whose law studies have inhibited her music-making this year, dusted down her trombone. With Will at the piano, Minami reminded us how much we had been missing her golden tone when she wooed us with a transcription of Schumann’s second ‘Romance’, originally conceived for violin.
Will Cesta himself, although also impeded by law studies, concluded the concert with the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by Beethoven, the famous first movement deeply considered and the last movement brilliantly realised. It was a great end to another delightful evening in the Senior Common Room.
- Ian Jack, Senior Fellow