Playhouse provided the perfect night out

Sarah Beth Briggs and James Lisney
Sarah Beth Briggs and James Lisney

Many of you will know that very sadly, after many years of high quality concerts there, the Alnwick Music Society is no longer able to use the Castle Guest Hall.

The Alexandra Dariescu concert booked there for February 25 had to be postponed at great inconvenience, and moved to August 30.

However, we are extremely grateful that The Playhouse nobly stepped in, and we had a very fine concert last Wednesday evening, featuring Sarah Beth Briggs and James Lisney, one piano, four hands, in an excellent recital.

Sarah Beth suggested that the programme was rather like a meal, with an opening appetiser of a Poulenc sonata, then the more substantial course of a Mozart sonata and Schubert’s Fantasy in F minor, and a series of sweets to conclude after the interval, with Faure’s Dolly Suite, Debussy’s Petite Suite and music by Dvorak and Mozart.

In their early years Sarah Beth studied with the great Denis Matthews, and James with the renowned Cyril Smith and Phyllis Sellick.

It was a most profitable evening in which the duo delighted us with passionate playing, superb pianism and the special sense of being in the presence of two great instrumentalists playing together for pleasure and enlightenment – theirs first, but also ours.