Music inspired by Louis de Bernieres

ALISON CROOSE Burnham Norton Church


Alison Stephens, the leading exponent of the classical mandolin in Britain, and Australian-born guitarist Craig Ogden teamed up for the finale to this summer's Burnham Market Concerts.

Their performance had the Burnham Market trademark of quality and was especially enjoyable because the musicians displayed obvious enthusiasm for their programme.

Alison Stephens's name has become linked with Captain Corelli's Mandolin, having toured extensively with the very successful stage production which she co-wrote.

With Craig Ogden, she brought together an enchanting collection of works. No matter that some pieces had tenuous links with Louis de Bernieres because they were sufficient to provide an interesting musical journey.

The theme for Captain Corelli – which Alison played during some 500 performances – just had to be included. Other pieces did not have such direct associations but, with the musicians' displays of virtuosity, the demonstration of the range of their instruments and their entertaining introductions, there was much to savour.

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From a Vivaldi concerto which has a significant place in the mandolin repertoire to the exciting tango music of Piazzolla and works for solo guitar by Villa-Lobos, there was huge variety much appreciated by a large audience.

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