Pianist Giles Ridley and his wife Ruth (cellist) organised a wonderful concert at St Dunstan Church in Snargate on Sunday, June 17 to raise funds for their charity Cana Ethiopia. The charity is small and set up to improve education. They hope that “the water, in the form of money and other resources poured into the school, will turn into the wine of better education and a better life for many hundreds of children.” There are 250 students and this charity supports fifty of them whose parents are unable to pay, as education is not free.
Giles explained he wanted to show the equalities that existed amongst some early Romantic German composers and musicians. To start the concert we were treated to Beethoven’s trio in B flat for horn, cello and piano op 11, after which we heard five Lieders by father and son composers Franz and Richard Strauss (latter 1864-1949). One of the beautiful songs was written by the son (13 years old) for his father. These were followed by brother and sister composers, equally talented, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn.
As a final treat husband and wife team, Gustav and Alma Mahler’s compositions entertained us. Giles explained that in fact Mahler married Alma on the condition she would stop composing. She continued secretly and after ten years, and while on a holiday, Gustav in fact played one of her compositions and eventually agreed that Alma could publish five of the ten. It was between 1860 and 1911 so still not quite the time for total equality.
Olga Tylman’s (soprano) was beautiful and clear, singing in German and Keith Marie’s horn accompanying the trio and some of the songs was wonderfully soft. The trio horn, piano and cello sounded lovely. The evening was free but everybody was happy to give donations for the charity when leaving as it was such a special evening and with sustenance before the concert including very tasty cakes.
Photos: Heidi Foster