North Norfolk Music Festival

MICHAEL DRAKE St Mary's Church, South Creake


> St Mary's Church, South Creake

When founder member of the Chilingirian String Quartet, Simon Rowland-Jones and experienced organiser Barry Cheeseman got together, the seed was sown for three days of high quality music-making in this new festival.

Tuesday's concert, on the theme of a celebration of summer (with lots of moons), was a song recital by the German baritone Stephan Loges with Gary Matthewson at the piano. The programme was one largely of gentility, from Vaughan Williams to Schumann, Britten and Fauré.

Loges portrayed a variety of scenes in an extremely fluid and relaxed manner without losing the intensity of Schumann's Flutenreicher Ebro (a lonely walk by the river) and Ladybird, for example, or the passion and Gaelic colour in Fauré's On a Clear Day in Summer. It is easy to appreciate why Loges has become a leading recitalist and despite the open space of the large church not being entirely helpful, diction was exemplary in whatever language, as was the totally complementary and sensitive accompan-iment.

This was controlled singing of the highest quality in some 30 songs of character - none better than that in contrasts of Gershwin's Summertime and Braham's Motionless Air.

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As the Last Rose of Summer faded, the resolution must have been to watch for Stephan Loges' next recital.

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