Alison Balsom’s Recital a triumph at Cambridge Corn Exchange
- Credit: Archant
Alison Balsom plays music with every cell of her and inspires others to do the same.
The recital at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Tuesday, February 21 was transporting, uplifting and enveloping.
Alison welcomed the audience by saying how wonderful it was to have a band of 70 brass players on stage. “Usually it can be quite lonely”.
She can never really be lonely on stage. Her trumpet creates a universe.
She and pianist Tom Poster began by playing, exquisitely, Enescu’s Legende, an exam piece for the Paris Conservatoire, where Alison studied.
This was followed by a piano solo, Schubert’s Impromptu in G Flat major, played beautifully by Tom Poster.
How audacious, laughed Alison to follow Schubert with their own composition, The Thoughts of Dr May.
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This piece has been worked on since 2012 by Balsom and Poster. Inspired by the music of Queen, it is named in honour of astronomer, activist – and guitarist - Brian May.
The piece has changed over the years. They tinkered with it and refined it until finally they had to define it for a recording.
It is rhapsodic, melodic and mesmerising.
The 70-strong brass ensemble played the world premiere of a piece written by Cambridge Corn Exhange’s first ever composer in residence, Cambridge University student, Jay Richardson.
Cambridgeshire Music Brass Orchestra is made up of young people, with for this performance had Alison sitting among them.
The gem of the evening was a trio with Balsom, Poster and trombone player Becky Smith playing Brahms Horn Trio in EB major – transcribed by Alison Balsom who scours the earth for pieces to arrange beautifully for the trumpet.
The two women sat opposite each other in a hymn to music with pianist Poster on the grand piano making a heavenly trio.
When Alison and Becky were given bouquets at the end, Alison held out her flowers to Tom and the audience was with her in spirit. He should have had flowers too.
This concert was an absolute triumph, a medley of styles all played with supreme expertise, innovation, fluidity and love.
For the encore, the trio played George Gershwin’s Someone to Watch Over Me.
To our heart, they carried the key.