The Romance of the Cello, Aysgarth Church

THE audience was spellbound by a stunning world-class performance by cellist Corinne Morris and pianist Nico de Villiers on May 13.

It was hard to believe one was sitting in a church in Wensleydale listening to such an awe-inspiring recital. One person commented: “ It was a magical evening and an incredible performance.”

The concert truly lived up to its title, The Romance of the Cello. It began with Beethoven’s Sonata in D Major, with its dramatic opening movement, followed by the haunting Adagio and a dancing fugue to finish.

This was followed by Schumann’s Three Fantasiest?cke, which captivated the audience from the tender, yet passionate first piece to the fiery finale.

The second half started with a 20th century work, Debussy’s Sonata in D Minor, in which Morris displayed her supreme virtuosity and versatility. The audience were kept on the edge of their seats with sudden changes of tempo and dramatic effects.

The climax of the concert was the memorable Sonata in D minor by the 19th century French composer Benjamin Godard, which emphasised the enthralling partnership between Morris and de Villiers. After this performance, many wondered why Godard was not better known as a composer.

And if that wasn’t enough, for the encore, Morris played the slow movement from Rachmaninov’s Cello Sonata, reducing at least one member of the audience to tears.

The best news following this concert is that Morris was made so welcome in Wensleydale and was so captivated by the scenery that she has promised to return.

She thanked Carol Haynes and her friends for making it such a wonderful trip. This included holding a cello workshop in Carperby for eight musicians, time to relax and, she said, lots of laughter.

Pip Land