Boughton Church Window Gary Trouton

Boughton page

September 2006

A report on the recent Boughton concert...

One of the joys of a summer evening is to hear good music well played in an English country church. The harmony of the music accords with the beauty of the architecture in a union of aesthetic perfection, satisfying to both the ear and the spirit.

The Christian religion has, of course, inspired much of the greatest of Western music and, in a joyous recital in All Saints' Church, Boughton on Saturday 29 July, James Kennerley, former Organ Scholar of Jesus College Cambridge and St Paul's Cathedral, and soprano Brigid von Preussen, gave us a first half taste of some of the delights of this great tradition. Showing a range of skills and styles, whether on the fine All Saints' chamber organ or on his keyboard, James took us with ease and effortlessness from Gregorian chant, through Bach, Haydn and Beethoven to the romantic outpourings of Tchaikovsky, Franck and Grieg, a veritable tour d'horizon. How well he moved from one style to another with grace and accomplishment and in the second half was able to show his creativity by employing a range of musical styles from tower ballroom to Liszt in his masterful extemporisation on the audience's chosen theme: I do like to be beside the Seaside.

Brigid's singing did not quite match James's skill. At times her ecclesiastical purity of tone was marred by breathing and intonation imperfections, while in her swing and jazz selection, her classical training inhibited the freedom and spontaneity which was born into the original performers of songs like Summertime. Crossover rarely works and, as one famous critic might have said, 'The girl just ain't suffered enough.'

All in all it was a most interesting and satisfying evening, to which artistic delights was added some first-rate interval wine. Many thanks to the initiative of the organisers. I await next year in eager anticipation.

LFJ Hardwick

This review was received from a resident of Weeting, and expresses his own personal opinion. Brigid's voice is beautiful, and the opening rendering of 'Salve Regina' as the two entered the church was quite spine-tingling. The programme was a taxing one, and perhaps some fatigue was evident, but we look forward to hearing her again with anticipation of the pleasure her maturing voice will bring. Our thanks to both performers, and to the Wilkinsons for organising the concert, which raised £327 for the church project. Everyone agreed that it had been a most enjoyable evening, with a very good attendance. Pam Wakeling

Parish Clerk

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