Horsham Music Circle: Judith Templeman, violin and Heejung Kim, piano

Review by Luca J Imperiale

Judith Templeman, violin and Heejung Kim, piano

Continuing Horsham Music Circle’s 80th Season, Judith Templeman, violin and Heejung Kim, piano presented a program of pieces from three masterful composers stretching from the 19th century into the 20th century. Each of the works were tastefully introduced by Judith, giving a bit of context about the piece and some of her own thoughts about them.

The concert opened with Brahms’ Violin Sonata No.1 (Op.78), a piece that is not only technically difficult to play, but a piece that challenges the musicality of the both the violinist and pianist too. Unlike many other sonatas, where the piano part assumes a purely accompanying role, the piano and violin parts work together “homogeneously”, as Judith herself later described and so, it was a pleasure to both listen to and to watch the two performers engage in and enjoy the pleasant dialogue written out by Brahms between the two instruments. The darker and more sombre material of the second movement was brilliantly juxtaposed by the lyrical and passionate third movement and the various characters found throughout the piece were effectively exploited and conveyed with conviction by both performers, showing a true understanding and love for the music.

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Edward Elgar’s ever popular Salut d’Amour was performed next, a beautiful love song written for, his soon to be wife, Caroline Roberts. Judith delivered the piece’s warm dance-like melody with grace and expertise, leaving the audience members with a contented smile on their face. The love-struck high notes sang out across the hall and on the whole was a pleasure to listen to.

The concert finished with Ravel’s jazz and blues inspired Violin Sonata No.2. The intricate and winding melodies played by Judith in the first movement glided effortlessly above the underlying dissonances played in the piano part, giving a serene and mysterious feel to the piece. The delightful interactions between the piano and the violin in the second movement as the motivic material moved from instrument to instrument showed how effortlessly these two musicians worked together. The challenging extended techniques, including the quadruple stopped pizzicato motif, were flawlessly executed too. Finally, the relentless virtuosic passages of the ‘perpetuum mobile’ movement, the final movement, were handled with fluency and uncompromised precision. This intense ending concluded the performance with style and brilliance, a fantastic ending to the concert.

The Music Circle's next concert will be a Free Lunchtime Organ Recital by Gerald Taylor FRCO on Tuesday 14th December 1pm at the Unitarian Church. The 80th Season then continues in 2022 with concerts in February, March and May. Details to be announced soon. For information contact the Music Circle on 01403 252602, email: [email protected] and see website www.horsham-music-circle.org.uk'

Review by Luca J Imperiale