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Josh Dyer
Upper Sixth
South Town

Amelia Streatfeild-James Lunch Time Recital

Amelia Streatfeild-James Lunch Time Recital

The lunch time recital is many ways the oddest and hardest challenge that a musician can face in this school. The audience you are putting yourself out for are in all honesty not generally that happy to be there; for those of you unaware, a lunch time recital is compulsory for all members of the house to attend to which the performer belongs. This means that in order to grab the attention of any audience present at a lunch time recital, you really must play exceptionally well in order to impress a group of people, many of whom will not be natural music lovers. Today was the turn of Amelia Streatfeild-James to undertake this ordeal, with the entire Worcester house in attendance, many of whom had to rush off to grab a bus to hockey straight after, this was always going to be a tough audience to win over.

Despite being best known for her top class vocal skills, Amelia also has played the harp for 8 years, the flute for a similar amount of time, has a good knowledge of the piano, and has just recently started learning guitar — a very well rounded musician. Playing to her strengths, Amelia opened with two pieces by the German baroque composer ‘George Frideric Handel’. She briefly described each piece, painting a vivid picture of the context in which the piece was performed in the opera it was taken from, and also giving a brief insight into the lyrics of the piece which were written in Handel’s native German. Had she not done this, the piece would not have been nearly so dramatic. The main feature of these two opening pieces (accompanied by James Drinkwater on piano) were the vast range of pitches, which allowed Amelia to use her powerful voice to execute stunning high notes. Indeed a key member of the Worcester Upper 6th; Lucy Pigott said following the concert that she was ‘very impressed by the high standard of her vocal range’.

She followed with a piece on the harp by Belgian composer Alphonse Hasselmans. Not having a deep knowledge of the harp, I do not really feel qualified to pass judgment on this aspect of her performance, however, the piece really was rather beautiful, and sounded exceptionally smooth on the ear, something that is surely evidence of her prowess on this instrument.

The performance ended with a Canadian folk song entitled ‘She’s like the swallow’; again this was an exceptionally beautiful piece. What struck me was how relaxed Amelia appeared during this final leg of her performance. This was something to do with her easing into her performance over time, and also that it must be easier to appear relaxed when singing a song in a language that you are familiar, as opposed to the German vocals in Handel’s works. This relaxed demeanor allowed her to really play with the song, with her voice becoming more emotive.

This was an excellent performance from an exceptionally talented musician; it doesn’t go too far to say that in the ‘real’ world, this was a performance worthy of paying to go see.

11 November 2010

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