Nicholas Yonge Society

Chamber Music in Lewes

25th October 2013

Schumann Romance op.94 No.2 for clarinet & piano
Schumann Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70 for cello and piano
von Zemlinsky Clarinet Trio in D minor, Op. 3
Berg Vier Stücke Op 5 for clarinet & piano
Brahms Trio in A minor, Op. 114

Emma Johnson et al 

The Nicholas Yonge Society was the happy recipient of three 50th birthday presents on Friday night. The most enduring was a new piano. Well it played like a new piano and it sounded like a new piano, but, as the Treasurer will happily confirm, it didn't cost like a new piano. The transformation wrought by piano technical wizard Steve Carroll-Turner over the summer has given a new soul to the instrument, with a spectacularly increased range of dynamic and timbre. The joys of the 'new' piano were wonderfully exploited by Tom Poster, the pianist of our second birthday present. Tom, Emma Johnson and Guy Johnston conjured up some of the most magical sounds I have ever heard at the Nicholas Yonge – their pianissimos in particular were exquisitely blended and controlled. Highlights for me were Guy's control of melodic line and texture, and Emma's breathtaking control of pppp in the Berg miniatures, both matched as ever by Tom. They introduced our third present, a magnificent cake, with a brilliant chimera of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet and 'Happy Birthday'. Janet Lovegrove ceremonially cut and we all enjoyed a slice. So here is to the next 50 years! Incidentally, itinerants in the audience tell me that the piano sounds even better from the balcony.

Reviewer: Chris Darwin
Photographer: David James