Recent Concerts at St John’s
Summaries by Fr. Kenneth
On Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May, the Royal Northern Sinfonia presented a progressive
recital in Newcastle. It began at 12 noon at St Andrew’s, Newgate Street, progressed to
St John’s for two o’clock, and the third recital at four o’clock at All Saints’ Presbyterian
Church on the banks of the Tyne.
Called the Vienna Chamber Music Trail, three different groups of performers graced
the churches with their programmes. For St John’s, the music was by Ludwig van
Beethoven, Franz Schubert, and Ernst von Dohnanyi. 160 people attended this recital —
some as a one-off and others attending all three churches. The performers were
outstanding and the response from the audience was prolonged.
St John’s holds music recitals once each month; a banner advertising the dates is on the
fence on the Grainger Street-Westgate Road corner.
On Saturday, 14th May, Alison Russo (soprano) and Christopher Wood (piano) presented
a superb programme of English and German Art Song, featuring music by Ralph
Vaughan Williams, Hugo Wolf, Rebecca Williams, and Franz Schubert. Videoed, the programme is available to view on YouTube.
A smaller audience than for the Bank Holiday, but one nonetheless most appreciative
of the talents of these two very fine performers.
On Monday, 16th May, Newcastle Cathedral presented its weekly organ recital but, with
the Cathedral closed for a National Cathedrals’ Conference, St John’s was asked to be
the venue for that day.
Our own esteemed organist, Keith Dale, played the programme, of works by Charles
Avison (a Newcastle man, organist at St John’s from 1748+), Felix Mendelssohn-Batholdy,
Camille Saint Saens, Joseph Jongen, and the renowned Italian organist Fernando
Germani. The picture shows Keith ‘enlightening’ the audience with his programme
notes. We’re very pleased to have this link with the Cathedral, the Dean being the Patron of
the clerical appointments at St John’s.