Toad Lane Concerts: Duncan Reid violin and Jonathan Ellis piano

Date published: 02 August 2022

Two much loved seasoned performers returned to St Mary’s last Wednesday (27 July).

Both graduates of the ‘double’ music course of the RNCM and Manchester University, Duncan Reid (violin) and Jonathan Ellis (piano) have delighted audiences with their supreme musicianship for a few years now.

Duncan has worked with various orchestras and ensembles in the UK, is a well-regarded music teacher in schools and conducts the Xaverian College Chamber Orchestra.

Jonathan performs regularly as a soloist, as chamber musician, as vocal and instrumental accompanist, choral/operatic repetiteur or musical director, and competes in international piano competitions. He also performs with “Classical Evolution”, and musical charities “Music in Hospitals” and “Live Music Now”.

Toad Lane Concerts have been fortunate in securing their services as individuals and as two of the members of the Ryebank Trio.

Latterly, Jonathan injured his wrist, but this was not apparent in his playing. Welcome back.

The Violin Sonata Op. 24 in F major by Beethoven, known as the ‘Spring’ since his death, is very well known. It requires great skill from both players. The first movement’s merry little figures and cheerful florid passages demand great dexterity, which both players have in abundance. The other three movements demand contrasts in mood and styles keeping both players on their toes.

Violin Sonata Op. 78 in G major by Brahms was even more soulful and passionate at times. Again, a mature and masterful joint interpretation.

Fantasie in A minor “Scene de Ballet” by De Beriot is a remarkable virtuoso encore showpiece for both players. The violin is put through all its paces with extremes of range and techniques like a mini concerto; whilst the piano must delve into the full resources of an orchestra. An ideal vehicle for these wonderful musicians.

The Queen’s Award-winning Toad Lane Concerts are every Wednesday at 12.30pm at St Mary in the Baum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1DZ. Entrance fee is £6. No refreshments available now, but the venue is Covid-19 compliant. Contact 01706 648872 for further information.

To see details of forthcoming Toad Lane Concerts, click here.

Dr Joe Dawson

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