- Peter Lapham and James Shenton
I meet Peter Lapham and James Shenton, the two musicians involved
in this violin and piano concert, in the Westgate Chapel.
I get there first. Curiously, it is the first time I have
ever been inside. I immediately love its austereness, broken
only by the Victorian stain glass window above the altar.
Peter, the pianist, arrives first, and together we count the
chairs: there is room for just over 100 people. James arrives,
a more serious man. I ask them what we can expect from the
concert. “The Delius 2nd Violin and Piano Sonata is
very special,” says James. “There’s nothing
quite like its first movement. It has echoes of Richard Strauss.
Delius is not played very much, but has a very loyal following.”
“We are performing a well-balanced programme,”
chips in Peter. “There are also sonatas from Bach, Brahms
and Schubert.” “And we will be playing some shorter
pieces, to break it up a little.” This is James again.
“A set of six Romanian folk dances by Bartok. Though
why they call them dances, I don’t know. Nobody will
be dancing. Tunes more like.”
I ask them about the chapel. “It’s a marvellous,
intimate space,” says Peter. “It produces nice
reverberating acoustics.” “It’s not over
the top,” continues Richard. “And it’s exactly
the right sort of size for the music we’re playing.
If there are too many seats you can lose communication with
the audience.” AL