Royal Academy of Music

The Assembly House, Norwich (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

The Assembly House, Norwich (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

This was the third lunchtime concert by students of the RAM in the festival and it was yet another delight.

Joseph Middleton (piano) and Shulah Oliver (violin) performed a well balanced programme to an approving audience.

Starting with Arnold's Five Pieces for Violin and Piano, with its jazz-like syncopated rhythms and chromatic influences, they explored a modern side of the violin. The sudden changes from the forceful proclamations to more delicate accompaniment demonstrated Middleton's great command over his instrument.

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These musicians, who do not normally play together, blended beautifully, allowing the give and take of a duet to heighten the experience of the Mozart Sonata in A K526, gently passing the tune from one to the other.

Throughout the range of the instrument Oliver demonstrated her skill, from the mournful lower passages of the Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano, to the agile rhythmic intensity of the audience's favourite - Ravel's Tzigane. Here she escorted us from the playful innocence of a gipsy dance to hugely complicated virtuoso playing.

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Only receiving a mere 20 minutes to practice at the venue it must be wondered what could be achieved if our country's transport system were as good as they.

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