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Monday, October 26, 2020


(Cathy Peacock & Andrew Warburton)

“Brass and Keys Unlocked” was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining concert which had the audience on their feet in appreciation at the end. (Review by Keith Millar)

Prior to lockdown, we were perhaps a little spoilt for choice with regards to the number of concerts available for our enjoyment.

Then came the shutdown which led to more than seven long months of no live music at all.

So the pleasure and joy at the return of live concerts is understandable, and 120 (Covid maximum) music lovers gathered at St Thomas Church in Musgrave Road, Durban, on Sunday morning to share in the joy of a live concert called Brass and Keys Unlocked.

The concert showcased the talents of the charismatic Durban trumpeter Cathy Peacock and one of South Africa’s leading pianists and accompanists, Dr Andrew Warburton.

Also taking part were two local organists, Merwyn Payne and Johan Ward as well as well as three members of the Durban Youth Orchestra: Lance Travis Leslie Smith (bass trombone) and Richard Kruse and Andrew Ward (both trumpeters).

It is worth noting that, among her many musical activities, Cathy Peacock is a tutor and conductor with the Youth Orchestra. The two trumpeters on the programme are her pupils.

Looking glamorous in a black evening gown Cathy Peacock started off the programme with Henry Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, a fitting fanfare to kick-off a varied programme filled with wonderful music performed with skill and panache.

Among other pieces performed by Peacock were the ubiquities wedding march, The Prince Of Demark March by Jeremiah Clarke, performed as a trio with her two students; baroque composer William Boyce’s Trumpet Voluntary, and 20th century Belgium composer Flor Peters introspective piece, Aria.

Andrew Warburton’s solo contribution to the concert included Beethoven’s Rondo in C and Spanish Dance by Enrique Granados. His performance was masterful. He was also the accompanist for most of the other works on the programme.

Also on the programme was JS Bach’s exquisitely serene Air On A G String played on the church’s 110 year old organ by Merwyn Payne, and Alexej Lebedjew’s Konzert Nr. 1 performed with some aplomb on the bass trombone by 18 year-old Lance Smith.

The artists offered snippets of information about the works and composers between items. Of particular interest was Cathy Peacock’s explanation about the workings of the trumpet, using a length of garden hose. Remarkably, she achieved a credible sound from the hose during her demonstration.

Brass and Keys Unlocked was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining concert which had the audience on their feet in appreciation at the end.

Reverend Michael Fourie of St Thomas Church has plans to develop the venue as a centre for fine music in the area. He has two concerts planned for November which we look forward to with interest. - Keith Millar