On a late summer sunny Sunday afternoon, at the end of October, Society friends and members gathered in St George’s Church for a concert by the Magic Music Wind Trio. Leader, Katherine Stewart on clarinet is an internationally renowned player, as popular at the Proms as at swing sessions. With Alison Hayhurst on flute and Chris Rawley, bassoon, their performances on Radio 3 and Classic FM have confirmed a reputation as a trio of euphony and power that combines fine lightness of touch, speed and fluidity.
Chris Rawley’s Bassoon assumes the roles of brass and percussion masterfully, blending with the two higher woodwinds to create intimate unisons and dazzling harmonies. The trio spanned three centuries of composition, revealing in Henry Purcell how a simple base pattern may sustain very different melodic variations.
In Mozart’s Wind Trio the speed, spirit and exuberance of the score’s tripping, tail-chasing and tumbling revealed the player’s virtuosity and that the acoustics of St George’s may rival the churches of Salzburg in the case of Mozart and in the Beethoven Duo, those of Vienna. Their style is never indulgent and as Katherine put it “strawberries taste better with pepper.”
Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore can be a cliché but Katherine’s interpretation was classic, lyrical and quite moving. Musicians who can stand on the world stage do not visit Ramsgate every month, so the Society and the Town are indebted not just to the Trio, but to the new Social Committee: Janet, Jennifer, Sue and Sarah for a brilliant start to the new programme.