Cheltenham in April

March slipped into April, more birds chirruping, hedgehogs appearing in the garden and flowers blossoming into spring colours. And lighter evenings to enjoy, walk home from teaching in the daylight and marvel at the endless skies of the Fenland (where I live) practice lots, study and learn new pieces.

In April we also had our concert for Park House, Cheltenham. I think this might be our fifth performance here – it has a really beautiful drawing room and intimate atmosphere. It almost feels like we are transported back into the wonderful era of musical soirees, where you almost feel that the likes of Mendelssohn or Schubert are just about to appear through the doorway, bringing in sheaves of new compositions and performing them in the warm glow of candlelight to their friends and close acquaintances.

We performed the haunting and dramatic Violin Sonata in C minor by Grieg – as well as some Schubert and Mendelssohn. And in the second half, our programme was a journey of composers who, like Grieg, were all inspired by the landscape that they grew up in – Suk, Dohnanyi, De Falla and Venables.

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