A good audience braved the worst Storm Callum could deliver for a thrilling concert of piano duets by Jinah Shim and Raymond Yiu at St Mary’s School, Tickhill. Many of us had heard Jinah play two years ago so we knew we were in for a rare treat. She had promised to return with another pair of hands and, even though Raymond was a welcome late replacement, it was certainly a double treat.
Jinah introduced the evening as simply “Music we like!” There could have been no better theme as they started with a lively Mozart sonata, the perfect antidote to Callum raging outside. Truly empathetic playing followed in Faure’s Dolly Suite, written to celebrate the life of the daughter of his mistress, according to our programme- or his very good friend, according to Jinah’s introduction! Let’s settle for the latter since Berceuse brought to many of our minds Listen With Mother – and even brought on a few tears. Le Jardin de Dolly evoked a lovely stroll in a gorgeous garden – despite Callum – but how suitable was the energetic Le pas espanol on October 12th, the national day of Spain!
A romantic opening to the Dumka Slavonic Dance by Dvorak entranced us all after the interval followed by his dynamic Starodavny with those tricky changes of pace. The final Fantasie by Schubert, an important part of the challenging repertoire for piano duet, written in four interconnected movements, held the audience throughout, particularly in the dramatic pauses when even the wind seemed to hold its breath. Rarely have so many notes been played simultaneously to such glorious effect on our Yamaha!
The welcome encore from Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite saw Jinah and Raymond change places with some virtuosic glissandi conjuring calm after the storm, before we renewed our battle with Callum.