Saturday 25th November 2023

Wendy Nugent (Grand Piano)

Wendy Nugent has previously appeared several times as half of Dolby and Hughes (4 hands 1 piano), most recently on Saturday 19th November 2016 and Saturday 12th October 2019. She and Joy Naylor have also previously performed two “Christmas is coming” concerts for for us on Saturday 4th December 2021 and  Saturday 10th December 2022 . This visit is Wendy on her own, playing a Grand Piano.

Here is a PDF of the Poster for this Concert (click to VIEW or right click to SAVE). Please feel free to print and display the poster to help publicise this concert. 

Programme (announced 16th October)

Marcello/arranged Bach: Oboe Concerto in D Minor, BWV 974
(3 movements)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 8 in C Minor. Op 13 Sonata Pathétique
(3 movements)
Chopin: Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, Op posth., KK IVa, no. 16
Debussy: Deux Arabesques, L 66
(2 movements)


Schubert: Impromptu in E Flat major, Op 90 No 2
Liszt: Consolations, No 3 in D Flat Major, S172
Prelude in B Minor, Op 32 no 10
Prelude in G Major, Op 32 no 5
Prelude in G Minor, Op 23 no 5
Paul Mealor: The Infinite Meadows of Heaven
Billy Mayerl:
Nimble Fingered Gentleman
Shallow Waters
Sweet William

Brief Report “on the night”

We had feared that some people might be unable to find space to park because the Middlewich Christmas Lights switch took place only 30 minutes before our concert started. However, instead, we had our largest ever audience at the Community Centre of just over 80 people.

Wendy began quietly with an intriguing Oboe Concerto by Marcello which had been arranged for piano by Bach. Then came an exciting rendition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 8 “Pathetique”. This was followed by a beautiful Chopin Nocturne. The first half was concluded by two arabesques from Debussy. Wendy described the second one as “light, bobbly and fizzy” and we could all see what she meant.

After the interval Wendy explained that she loved playing scales and her first piece (an impromptu by Schubert) certainly had plenty of them. The next piece (Liszt’s Consolation No 3) was written as a tribute to Chopin and was quieter and more contemplative than many Listz pieces. Then came 3 Preludes by Rachmaninov. They were vastly different from each other and showed off Wendy’s prowess in adapting her style of playing. Long loud applause followed. A peaceful piece by Paul Mealor was followed by 3 up-tempo pieces by Billy Mayerl showing his jazz roots. The first was again full of wondrous scales, the other 2 quieter in contrast, but still very enjoyable.

As an encore Wendy played the amazingly fast and complicated  Etude de Concert in C Major, Op 13 by Pierne. Such was the applause that she followed it up with a rendition (sans vocal) of Abba’s Dancing Queen.

All in all, a marvellous concert played to a capacity audience. Wendy’s brief explanation of the background to each piece before she played it increased our enjoyment, especially when she had a personal reason for choosing that piece. Hopefully we can persuade her to return next season with a few more of her favourite pieces.

Press Report

A full-house would delight any Society Treasurer and the pianist Wendy Nugent achieved it for the November concert. A grand piano had been hired for the occasion and she was able to take full advantage of its power and tone.

The concert began with an arrangement by Bach of an Oboe Concerto by Marcello. This provided a gentle start and sounded vaguely familiar. A powerful performance of Beethoven’s “Pathetique” Sonata provided a tremendous contrast. Chopin’s Nocturne in C Sharp minor was relatively tranquil, followed by two Arabesques by Debussy, the first gently undulating and the second quite bright.

The second half started with a Schubert Impromptu, with two of Wendy’s favourite features – the key of E Flat major and lots of scales. Impressive! Liszt’s “Consolations” No. 3 is taken to be a tribute to Chopin. Wendy then played three Preludes by Rachmaninov, varied in style and intensity, the last (Opus 23, No. 5) being the best known. Paul Mealor’s only composition for piano is “The Infinite Meadows of Heaven”, as serene as the title suggests. The recital ended with three pieces by Billy Mayerl, quite light and showing his music hall roots. There were two encores: Pierne’s Concert Study and “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. A splendid evening, much enjoyed by the audience.

For more information about Dolby & Hughes visit their own website (in a new window), by clicking HERE

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