Sunday 10 June 2012

Ellys Manor House Spring Music Festival in Nocton Church

Three first-rate chamber music concerts were given in Nocton church over the week-end of 18 to 20 May, in the Ellys Manor House Spring Music Festival.  The organiser was Clive Taylor, who greets visitors to his home built by Anthony Ellys in the early 16th-century, the Ellys Manor House in Great Ponton.  Clive was looking for a church with a family connection, and his research led him to our village, where a kinsman of Sir Anthony, Sir Richard Ellys, lived in Nocton Hall in the 18th century. 

On the Friday evening, Bibi Heal (soprano), Hajo Weinroth (Baroque flute), Poppy Walshaw (Baroque cello), and Pawel Sjwczak (harpsichord), performed music by Bach, Handel and Couperin, with the theme of ‘Desire and Contentment.’  Handel’s ‘Soft Complaining Flute’ brought out the mellow tones of the Baroque flute, the sound of which was copied by the harpsichord.  The same musicians gave the concert entitled ‘Voices of Nature’ on Saturday evening.  Nightingales, roses and the human soul were evoked in a collection of Baroque miniatures.  Then Bibi and Pawel left, and Simon Standage arrived on Sunday afternoon for an all-Haydn programme of divertissements and trios for flute, violin and cello.  Their playing was flawless, a sheer pleasure to listen to.  The musicians praised Nocton Church’s fine acoustic, suggesting that it should be made available for recordings.  Clive’s team of caterers provided excellent canap├ęs and wine, and although the weather was cold, the atmosphere inside the church was warm and friendly.

All Saints will benefit from providing the venue, and this is especially helpful towards paying for urgent repairs.   It would be a pleasure to welcome this concert series again, and it is hoped that other concert organisers will take note of our very beautiful church interior and great acoustic for chamber music.

Carol Bennett

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