May 20th, 2017 Hatstand Opera Company
On Saturday May 20th we were once again entertained by the wonderful and ever fresh Hatstand Opera Company. On a really awful rainy Saturday Hatstand, returning to Chatteris for the 4th time, delivered a fast moving quality performance. We were treated to a delightful evening of entertainment.... delivering their unique, mixed bag of musical gems, providing their special blend of humour, pathos and nostalgia. The audience loved every minute. The evening was a huge success.
March 11th, 2017 The Falcon Ensemble
On Saturday March 11th the Falcon Ensemble came to Chatteris
and delivered a wonderful evening's entertainment. Under conductor
Alan Bowman, and with solo pianist Naomi Woo, the Ensemble gave
the large audience an evening to remember. Among the many notes of appreciation we have received Frances Sell writes -
The Falcon Ensemble, playing to a “full-house” in the lovely Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Chatteris, gave enormous pleasure to us all. There is always some little point or story to learn and Saturday’s concert was no exception. Particularly appreciated was conductor and founder Alan Bowman’s lively and informative introduction to Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni and to Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, which certainly enhanced our appreciation of a very talented ensemble.
Pianist Naomi Woo charmed everybody! We will remember for a long time her brilliant and exciting performance of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto. She had the full attention of us all as Beethoven’s music filled the Church and we listened with, perhaps, in mind the tragedy of Beethoven’s increasing deafness and the knowledge that it would be the last of his of concertos he performed in public.
Some of us at the back of the Church couldn’t actually see the piano! We were taken by surprise by the deep sonorous sound that rose above us as Naomi Woo began a thrilling and intriguing encore. For an instant, in my mind’s eye I could see a mountainous scene reminiscent of an ancient Japanese print, the echo of a large bronze gong reverberating through a lonely valley. It was an exciting and fascinating encore. Later, with a little help from the Internet and a search for information on Canadian composer Alexia Louie, I discovered that if you enter “Scenes from a Jade Terrace” into your search engine you can listen to “Memories in an Ancient Garden” again!
October 8th, 2016 - Budapest Cafe Orchestra
On Saturday October 8th we hosted the Budapest Cafe Orchestra, 4 extremely talented musicians who excel in delivering excitement.
A near capacity audience were enthralled by this group. Rosemary Westwell writes -
There is a very good reason why Chatteris Music Society is becoming more and more successful: it is providing fantastic concerts. The Budapest Café Orchestra that performed on Saturday was amazing. It is like no other group I have ever heard. Imagine trying to play Grieg’s Piano Concerto with a violin, a guitar, a piano accordion and a double bass – impossible, you would imagine. However, armed with these interesting instruments, these highly talented musicians managed it with phenomenal flair, albeit performing their own unique arrangement. Their virtuosic skill, hilarious sense of humour and undoubted sensitivity and rhythmic genius kept the packed audience spellbound.
The ‘orchestra’ consists of Chris Garrick (playing violin and doumbek: a type of drum), Kelly Cantlon (double bass), Adrian Zolotuhin (saz, guitar and balalaika) and Eddie Hession (button accordion).
The leader, Chris Garrick, inspired this group of eccentric UK dwellers parading as mysterious Hungarian- come-Russian characters to play with tremendous agility, feeling and expert timing, infusing their arrangements with mischievousness that had the audience laughing out loud. While wondering if strains of Brahm’s Hungarian pieces were being infiltrated into their vivacious arrangements of known folk music, we would be suddenly met with oh-so-familiar themes from the likes of James Bond, the Archers, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, The Onedin Line, Captain Pugwash, Born Free, Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’, ‘Poldark’ or ‘Apache’. Nothing was sacrosanct. Only performers of such astounding ability as these musicians can get away with such outrageous fun so successfully.
This was an amazing evening: a fitting tribute to Roger Heading a previous chairman of Chatteris Music Society.