Review: Virtuoso violin from Gina in Tickhill

Gina McCormack and Nigel Clayton provided a fine evening of music in Tickhill
Gina McCormack and Nigel Clayton provided a fine evening of music in Tickhill

An appreciative audience at Tickhill Music Society was treated to a virtuoso performance by the violinist Gina McCormack at its April concert.

She was joined by Nigel Clayton, professor of piano at the Royal College of Music.

He was named as accompanist but his role was far from subordinate as the programme of music required him to be equally virtuosic.

The pair displayed faultless teamwork despite living and working at opposite ends of the country.

The duo started with an exuberant performance of an early Mendelssohn sonata, not published until discovered some years ago by Yehudi Menuhin.

This was followed by an interesting pairing of two works by English composers from the mid 20th Century, Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson, the former lyrical and the latter more robust.

The second half also provided contrasts – a delicate Romance by Gabriel Faure and a more substantial sonata by Richard Strauss, the latter containing a muscular piano part and challenging work for the violin (in this instance, a Guarneri of 1749).

As the players explained, Strauss tried to recreate the sound and complexity of his better known operas and orchestral works in the context of a violin sonata.

After this burst of energy, peace was restored by an encore in the form of a Viennese melody by Fritz Kreisler.

This was an outstanding performance which the audience was glad not to have missed, and another resounding success for Tickhill Music Society as it approaches the end of its 40th season.