Amanda Cook Wednesday 16th June 2004

Pembroke Lodge

The Greenwood guitar society celebrated its 10th anniversary in the magnificent surroundings of Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park. We were favoured by fine weather and full attendance for Amanda Cook's mini concert.

The concert took place in a large first level banqueting room with bay windows enabling a panoramic view of Richmond Park and London. The wooden flooring and high ceiling ensured good acoustics.

Amanda commenced her concert with 3 contrasting Sor pieces. I was immediately struck clarity of tone of her playing which favoured the excellent acoustics.

Amanda Cook at Pembroke Lodge

Amanda is famous for her performance and recording of the William Lovelace invocative tremolo "This Morning in Omagh the Sun Rose Again" on her CD "Debut". We were therefore extremely fortunate to then have a premier of two new pieces by Lovelace. These were very descriptive with much Celtic resonance and some interesting minimalist effects. William Lovelace was attendance and was greatly moved as we all were by Amanda's fine expressive performance.

Rodrigo's En Los Trigales portrays workers in an Andalusian wheat field labouring and at play. This picture was vividly conveyed by Amanda's rendition.

Amanda's wide ranging repertoire was demonstrated with Turin's Sonata Op.70. The Sonata Op.70 is unique among Turina's works in being strictly written in the classical style with some hints of his Spanish origins show through. Amanda played this interesting piece true to form.

Roland Dyens arrangement of Satie's Gnossienne No 1 followed with its beautiful wistful Greek melody and rich tones powerfully conveyed. Though this marked the official end of the mini concert we were treated to a rousing encore - Ben Verdery's Milwaukee played with great panache and attitude.