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Reviews: Classical Music Rocks in King’s Lynn and the Festival Chorus Family Carol Concert

Our music reviewer Andy Tyler has been to see two concerts in town...

Music review: Classical Music Rocks in Lynn

Distinguished musicians Klio Blonz (flute) and Grace Mo (piano) came from performing an enthusiastically received special version of Tchaikovsky’s famous ‘Nutcracker’ at Greyfriars School in Lynn to giving an equally well-received flute and piano recital at Lynn’s historic Town Hall, both events organised by The Classical Music Rocks organisation.

Classical Music Rocks musicians Grace Mo (piano) and Klio Blonz (flute)
Classical Music Rocks musicians Grace Mo (piano) and Klio Blonz (flute)

Their eclectic programme consisted of works by Hummel, Robert Schumann, and Enescu, and some excellent pieces by the not so well known composers: Miriam Hyde(1913-2005), an Australian, and the Georgian composer and teacher, Otar Taktakishvilli, (1924-1989).

It’s always great to hear not-so-well-known compositions by familiar composers and works by not-so-well-known composers; this recital delivered on all levels, the playing enthusiastic and sensitive when required, and effortlessly coping with the technical demands some of the pieces posed!

Both Klio and Grace have performed extensively here and abroad, they both broadcast and teach; the enthusiastic audience enjoyed as an encore, an arrangement of a dance from The Nutcracker Ballet for flute and piano. Bravo!

The next CMR concert is to be held at the same venue on the evening of Tuesday January, 9,2024, starting at 7.30pm.It’s a solo cello recital to be given by Rebecca Hepplewhite. For more details about CMR visit: cmrschoolswestnorfolk.com

Andy Tyler

Music review: Lynn Festival Chorus Family Carol Concert

It was great to enter a packed Minster Church recently for this concert which consisted of readings and well known carols for choir and audience, enabling us all to celebrate the festive season.

Ben Horden led the popular Festival Chorus in familiar and well known pieces such as ‘I Saw Three Ships’, ‘The Sussex Carol’ and ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ and the audience joined in with the chorus singing popular carols such as : ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’, ‘We Three Kings’, and ‘Hark! the Herald-Angels Sing’.

Readings were given in between the musical items and consisted of an excerpt from Dickens’s classic story, ‘A Christmas Carol’, and more light-hearted pieces made famous by Joyce Grenfell (The Nativity Play) and John Julius Norwich (The twelve days of Christmas).

Other musical favourites included Leroy Anderson’s ‘Sleigh Ride’, arranged by conductor Ben, and the programme concluded with Jonathan Willcock’s ‘Christmas Pudding’, a delicious mixture of famous Christmas melodies. Several other enjoyable items were included in the concert to make for a fine celebratory evening.

Martin Baker was the organist for the evening, and readers were Jan Willson, (replacing Richard Willson who was unwell), and the other was Kate Fenn.

Thanks go to all involved, including the nine soloists, for getting us all well into the Christmas Spirit. We look forward to the chorus’s next concert consisting of Brahm’s ‘German Requiem’ and Elgar’s lovely ‘Sea Pictures’, performed on Saturday, April 13, 7pm at Lynn Minster, next year.

Andy Tyler

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