Around 45 people attended the Stephen's Recital at the Greenwood Centre and all agreed it was a very stunning performance. The concert was recorded and a cassette has been produced.
I had not heard the music of Giulio Regondi before but Stephen's sparkling rendition of three charming studies captivated us all. These were followed by the Barrios pieces.
I particularly enjoyed Stephen's playing of Choro du Saudade to the point of now wanting to play it myself. A little slower then the John Williams recording I possess which some how helped to extenuate the haunting melodies in this piece. The steady pace of the Madrigal Gavotte followed whose lively tones provided a fine contrast. The great La Cathedral completed the Barrios set.
After the interval Stephen performed two beautiful Spanish Dances by Granados. The Arabesca was played with great passion; as was the playful Zarabande. These contrasted with raw dry Iberian sound of Rodrigo's Three Spanish Pieces that followed. Its taken me a little while to appreciate what my colleague at the society calls "Spanish music without the romantic bullshit" but on listening to the recording of the concert I have come to appreciate the vivid colourful music and Stephens skilful rendition of it. For most society members this was the highlight of the evening.
Stephen finished the concert with the Morel arrangement of Bernstein's West Side Story themes. Stephen's playing was always appropriate to the theme; slightly cheeky for I feel pretty, delicate for Maria and then bursting with energy for I'd like to Live in America. A truly marvellous performance.