50 music at lunchtime 10th september 2021

Music at Lunchtime – 10th September 2021

What a stunning way to end the first week of a new year – to be able to have a fully-fledged recital in the Arundel Centre. Talia, Year 13, who began her musical journey in Reception, joining the String Group in Year 1, achieved a truly marvellous Distinction for her ARSM Singing Diploma at the end of last term. This followed an impressive Distinction for grade 8 Violin. Having begun singing lessons in Year 5 – Talia had ‘always loved to sing – it always made me happy and I wanted to get better at something I really liked doing’ – the inspiration behind her programme was musical diversity. With genres from Baroque to musical theatre represented, each piece presented various technical and musical challenges. We began with Purcell ‘Hark the echoing air’ a challenge due to the wide vocal range required and the need to add in her own ornamentation for the final verse. This was a fabulous opener which contrasted beautifully with the sad lament by Handel ‘As when the dove laments her love’ which followed. The Vivaldi ‘Domine Deus’ needs little explanation. We then jumped a couple of centuries and continents to France, where a pairing of two Faure songs, one of which, his infamous ‘Pie Jesu’ from the Requiem left many in the audience rummaging for a tissue. Gurneys’ sad ‘Sleep’, Grieg’s folky ‘Solveig’s Song’ and Barbers ‘The Monk and His Cat’ in which the musical collaboration between voice and accompaniment paints a sound portrait of what is actually happening in the story provided further evidence, if any was needed, as to the sublime quality and musicianship that Talia has developed. It was the final two numbers, however, that supplied the X factor quality and showed just what a consummate performer Talia is. With Simons ‘A bit of Earth’ from The Secret Garden allowing her to exhibit a full range of technical mastery we ended with something so apt it could have been specifically written just for her! Stiles’ ‘Practically Perfect’ left us grinning from ear to ear, given that she had earned a practically perfect score of 49/50! Even more so when our visiting examiner asked Talia, at the end of her recital if she intended to be a professional – what a compliment! This achievement is even more amazing when you discover that Talia learnt all of her recitals with online lessons during lockdown. Remember -you heard her here first!

Mr Boxall