Charles Matthews is a popular local musician well known in Shipston and we were delighted to welcome him back for our concert in May. As usual Charles gave us a varied and enjoyable musical programme, and introduced many in the audience to Leonard Salzado. An English composer credited with a large output of music, Salzado is probably best known for the brief trumpet fanfare originally used for Open University broadcasts on the BBC. Song of the Night which Charles played for us was a beautifully atmospheric piece which conveyed the uncertainties of the night and darkness and clearly paid tribute to Salzado’s Spanish heritage.
Charles’ playing of Schubert’s Impromptu in B flat major with all its variations was a delight, as was Franck’s melodic and demanding Prelude, Chorale & Fugue. The second half of the evening opened with Clara Schumann’s Variations on a theme of Robert Schumann which seems to be hardly ever heard. Charles described her as “an extraordinary lady”, and this piece certainly illustrates her accomplishment as a composer , a potential that she was never able to reach due to requirements of family life. Surely a great loss to music.
The evening ended with a fine performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Sonata in G major, which again is often overlooked, but which demands technical brilliance of a kind that Charles Matthews was so evidently able to deliver.