Jonathan Radford (saxaphone)
Christine Zerafa (piano)
9th October 2018
" Gold Medal Saxophonist Comes to Town"
Two hugely talented young artists, Jonathan Radford saxophone and Christine Zerafa piano, supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, got the 2018-19 season of Chipping Sodbury Music Society off to a flying start. Praised for his “exceptional musicianship and emotive playing", saxophonist Jonathan Radford is the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition Gold Medallist and first prize winner. Christine Zerafa accompanied him on piano during his prize-winning performance in June at the Elizabeth Hall, South Bank, London.
A wide-ranging programme started with Debussy’s Rapsodie for alto saxophone and piano, one of just a few classical compositions written for saxophone. The differing moods, both passionate and relaxed, were well captured. A Chaconne by Vitali proved an attractive work. Technically demanding it gave the piano equal prominence. Rachmaninov’s Vocalise has received many transcriptions over the years. This melodious work with its Russian flavour was well received. Grieg’s Sonata no 1 brought the bracing air of Norway into the hall.
The Suite Espanola by Albeniz, with its infectious Spanish rhythms, showed the close rapport between the artists. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was a piece by Vivancos illustrating a mosquito flying around until it is squatted. The effects achieved on the saxophone were truly amazing. Piazolla’s Histoire du Tango traced its development from 1900 to 1960. The final work, Gershwin’s popular Rhapsody in Blue employing the soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, saw both players enjoying the jazz elements in this piece.
A total mastery of their instruments beckons a bright future for both artists.
13th October 2018