Manor House Music Recital at St Martin in the Fields – Yesterday the Manor House String Duo, consisting of Vaughan Jones violin and Reiad Chibah viola, gave a lunchtime concert in the historic church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square. Originally we had been due to play on the 7th of February, but this was the day of the big snow across the South East of England and despite waiting for promised trains (which never turned up), shovelling spadefuls of snow out from under the car and a perilous drive through the ice, we had arrived 5 minutes too late to perform and the organist had filled in with a splendid recital of the highest standard.
St Martin in the Fields is a unique venue in that it is so well organised but also incredibly welcoming, with it’s recent refurbishment offering¬†a comfortable¬†backstage rehearsal area with changing rooms and kitchen facilities, a vibrant cafe downstairs and an outstanding acoustic for musical performances. With the central location the church attracts hundreds of tourists as well as regular concert goers to the lunchtime series – so there is usually a wonderful and sizeable audience.
We performed two works for string duo – one well known duo by W.A Mozart – the duo for Violin and Viola in Bb (K424) and a piece from our disc released last year (entitled ‘Spohr, Rolla, Kalliwoda – Works for Violin and Viola’) – the Duo Concertant in C minor (Op. 4 no. 2)¬†by Alessandro Rolla.¬† Both pieces are demanding but written in a very full way for two instruments, so one is never left feeling that there needs to be more instruments: they are perfectly complete.
The audience were very receptive and many people approached us afterwards to tell us how much they had enjoyed the music. One gentleman had been on holiday in London and said that the recital had made a memorable and enjoyable end to his trip.
In terms of ticket price, there is no charge for the public to attend the lunchtime series, but there is a suggested donation of ¬£3.50 which is used towards the many good causes that St Martin in the Fields are involved in.
We very much look forward to playing in St Martin’s again at some point – although they understandably have a very long waiting list and many fine musicians are keen to play there.