EXPECTATIONS of an excellent concert and fine programme were fulfilled in every way in this performance organised as part of the Wensleydale Concert Series.

The programme was demanding for players and audience, including three major works of great complexity technically and musically, magnificently achieved by the two musicians.

The first half consisted of two works by Sergei Prokofiev. Five Melodies Op. 35 was played simply and with perfect balance of sound. Then the great Violin Sonata Op. 80, a long and very complex work, drew us in with a performance that surpassed all my expectations.

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The atmosphere created by Humphreys and Grimwood was very special and certainly will not be forgotten for a long time.

The second half was no less demanding. Schubert’s Rondo has a reputation among violinists as a piece to steer well clear of because of its formidable demands, but here they were met and we heard a performance that was totally compelling.

Humphreys' lovely violin (by Peter Guarneri of Venice in about 1720) was never overwhelmed by Grimwood's sensitive playing of the piano.

Faure’s 1st Violin Sonata ended the programme after a beautiful extract from Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s unaccompanied written especially for Humphreys and played in his memory.

We are lucky to have this wonderful new concert series in Wensleydale and must support it wholeheartedly.

The next concert is on Saturday, May 14, again at Aysgarth Church. English string music will be played by the Northern Camerata String Orchestra, conducted by Andy Jackson, featuring two works for cello and strings and the welcome return to Wensleydale of international solo cellist Corinne Morris.

For details, visit wensleydaleconcertseries.co.uk.

Jonathan Sparey