I was so pleased to be asked by Michael Bochmann to play a recital for his Lenthall Concerts series in Burford. The recital on 11 October, proved to be a most rewarding project in combining a full programme with pianist Charles Matthews and a workshop and performance by the Grendilla Double Reed Ensemble directed by Joanna Rhind-Tutt.

I visited two rehearsals of the Grenadilla Ensemble before the day and worked with Joanna Rhind-Tutt to prepare an improvisation and a performance of Elizabeth Sharma’s Samba from Permutations. I was really impressed with the ensemble of oboists and bassoonists and enjoyed playing with them, joining Joanna on cor anglais in the Liz Sharma work.

The recital featured works by Bach and Handel, including the Bach Oboe and Violin Concerto which Michael Bochmann joined us for. Charles Matthews and I also played Finzi’s Interlude and recital pieces by Alan Richardson (Roundelay), John Mayer (Abhut Sangit), Madeleine Dring (Italian Dance) and Ennio Morricone (Gabriel’s Oboe). And Charles gave a beautiful performance of the Handel Harmonious Blacksmith. My teacher, Janet Craxton, was married to Alan Richardson and this was a chance to celebrate the huge influence that she (and he) had on me. John Mayer taught for many years at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and wrote his Abhut Sangit for me in 1994. I was delighted to have this chance to play this evocative work.

It was so good to play with Michael Bochmann again after many years. We recalled that we had performed the Bach E Major Violin Concerto together in Oxford over 50 years ago!

Michael Bochmann

Charles Matthews, piano

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