Gabriella Dall’Olio at St Nicolas, Pevensey
Posted on April 28, 2019
St Nicolas Church, Pevensey, Saturday 27 April 2019. Italian Harpist Gabriella Dall’Olio brought a charming and highly romantic programme to a comfortably full St Nicolas, which included some unexpectedly local connections. She has worked for some time now with composer Paul Lewis, who was present to introduce his own works, many which have also been recorded by her and were available at the concert.
But we were given a whirlwind tour of nineteenth century Europe to encase the more recent works, opening with a brief but delightful Andantino e Allegro Brillante by Rossini, followed by Parish Alvars’ Serenade. Gabriella Dall’Olio was playing a double action orchestral harp at this concert, which has a full range of tone and dynamic intensity. Parish Alvars was a formidable harpist in his own right and expanded the repertoire and technical finesse of the instrument, which was finely demonstrated in the changes of mood and texture she found in the Serenade together with the swirling glissandi.
Paul Lewis introduced his Postcards from Paris of which we heard the first two. Moonlight in Montmartre is a gently enfolding waltz, while Left Bank Nocturne is a more soulful, not to say introspective, vision of the heart of Paris’ intellectual life. We are promised Postcards from Bologna – and I am sure they will arrive soon. The first half ended with Felix Godefroid’s operatically expansive Etude de Concert.
Many members of the audience spent the interval talking to Gabriella and looking more closely at the harp, showing so much interest that it was agreed that there would be a short Q&A session at the end of the evening.
Grandjany’s Rhapsodie hinted at the composer’s strong organ-playing background, and he certainly demands a wide range of tone from his performers, but it was Guridi’s Viejo Zortzico, with is elegant 5/4 rhythms, which raised the spirits. It was then time for more from Paul Lewis in the form of his Saturday Night Jazz Suite. The three short pieces are deceptively simple on the ear but have more than enough musical integrity to be taken seriously. The suite opens with a laid-back Jazzette followed by a tribute to Harpo Marx in Blues for Harpo which even includes two brief look-no-hands passages, where the notes are controlled by the pedals rather than the deft fingers of the soloist.
It concludes with Blue Fiver – a tribute to Dave Brubeck and another piece in 5/4 – which would easily have satisfied any of the audience, but Gabriella was persuaded to add an encore, which she did in the shape of John Marston’s Humming Bird. If anything, this summed up both her professionalism and ease of delivery. It literally charmed the birds out of the trees and brought the evening to a warmly satisfying conclusion.
DECO DELIGHTS Sunday March 24th 2019
Old school charm with Deco Delights in Pevensey’s St Nicolas church Deco Delights Brian Hick Published: 14:26 Monday 25 March 2019 It might seem rather risqué to sing cabaret songs in church on a fine Sunday afternoon but there was nothing in Sharon Lewis’ entertainment last Sunday to upset even the most prudish of potential listeners. Even Mae West’s wonderfully tongue-in-cheek I’d Rather Put It Off Until Tomorrow proves to be completely innocent by the time we get to the end. Deco Delights brought us an overview of songs from the mid-war period, and one has to admit there was so much good music written that she must have been spoilt for choice. Starting with Love Is The Sweetest Thing¸ we moved gently through I’ll String Along With You, and Begin The Beguine before getting to a more up-beat You’re The Cream In My Coffee and a very sensuous Lover Come Back To Me. Having taken in Mae West she also gave us a touch of Josephine Baker with J’ai Deux Amours before warning us all It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie. The final two items moved us into the world of theatre with Can’t Help Loving That Man Of Mine and Summertime, with its high-lying line sitting very comfortably in her voice. There was just time for Everything Stops For Tea before it did just that and large amounts of cake were on offer while the tea came round.Throughout Sharon Lewis was deftly accompanied by her composer husband Paul Lewis from the keyboard and his playing frequently underlined the humour of the songs. The rolling rhythms of Begin The Beguine were particularly apt. The next concert on April 27 brings us a solo harp and promises to be as entertaining as this series continues to prove to be. By Brian Hick.SUS-190325-140627001
Read more at: https://www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-and-comedy/old-school-charm-with-deco-delights-in-pevensey-s-st-nicolas-church-1-8863502