Members' Evenings 






17th November  – TheClerihew Trio

Three talented young musicians calling themselves the Clerihew Trio presented a unique concert of extreme variety to a large audience in Farnham Castle. Pianist Olivia Canolle, clarinettist Elizabeth Stutters and Soprano Alice Woodbridge catered for almost every musical taste in a programme that started with an impeccably sung solo from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and then immediately moved to two modern songs by English composers Michael Head and Paul Drayton.

Five short pieces for clarinet and piano by Gerald Finzi delighted the audience as did a series of short musical jokes called the Clerihew Songs, written for the trio by musical educationalist Paul Harris.

The second half of the concert was equally varied including Israeli music and music of the planets by Alan Hovhaness. The finale comprised three songs from musical shows and films. Popular songs delivered by classically-trained musicians have a polish that can be very appealing and the TBS audience certainly appreciated these items.

These three excellent musicians gave Farnham music-lovers a wonderful evening.

Ian Sargeant



20th October – Gonçalves Quartet


Four musicians from the Royal College of Music presented a concert of Baroque music by composers from France, Italy and Germany to members of the Tilford Bach Society at Farnham Castle.  Although the musicians are still students they are already experienced concert performers and have between them won several prestigious awards.

The combination of instruments; two flutes, cello and harpsichord, enabled the quartet to give a very varied programme, including pieces for the full ensemble as well as works that gave individual players a chance to shine.  Marta Gonçalves’ flute playing sparkled in the allegro movements of Bach’s Flute Sonata in E minor and Montserrat Colome gave a sensitive performance of Gabrielli’s Cello Sonata in A major.  Anthony Goode won rapturous applause for his solo harpsichord renditions of two Bach preludes and fugues.

 After the interval a suite of dances by the little known composer Marin Marais transported the audience to the elegance of 18th century France.  A trio sonata by Telemann was an entertaining series of character sketches of classical women such as Socrates’ shrewish wife Xantippe and Corinna the poetess, very different in style from the more familiar Bach Trio Sonata in G that closed the concert with great panache.

Rosemary Wisbey


22nd  September – Chiaroscu String Quartet

In the best tradition of the musical events presented by the Tilford Bach Society, the Autumn season of concerts at Farnham Castle began on 22 September with an attractive programme of string quartets performed by four outstanding musicians coming from Russia, Germany, England and France.

The Chiaroscura String Quartet is a group of four young ladies who came together at the Royal College of Music in November last year with an acclaimed performance of Mozart’s “Dissonance” quartet (K465). For this work they had been coached by Sir Roger Norrington and Farnham music lovers were privileged to  hear a repeat performance of this well-known work. Before this, the musicians had played Haydn’s “Reiter” quartet and the Mozart string quartet  in D Minor (K421) to the great satisfaction of the audience.

The rapport between the players was a delight to behold and included not just great sympathy in the music making, with the repeated eye contact that is the mark of  a well-rehearsed ensemble, but even carefully programmed page-turning for each other when required. The performance was marked by some excellent virtuouso playing and, in many places, good attack contrasting with lightness of touch.


Ian Sargeant



21st April – Daniel de Borah

It is not often that the Tilford Bach Society is able to offer a piano recital to its members. On Friday 21st April, the talented young Australian pianist Daniel de Borah performed at Farnham Castle and gave his audience an evening of great pleasure and excitement.

His opening pieces were Bach organ works adapted to piano. Deprived of an organ’s extra manuals and pedal board, and playing an instrument that delivers a totally different acoustic profile, it was astonishing to hear such pieces being rendered so effectively, with the different voices coming through clearly across the whole compass of the instrument. This performance was of particular interest to the various church organists who were in the audience.

The second half of the concert comprised a performance of Kreisleriana by Robert Schumann, a piece in eight movements, describing the eccentric moods of a fictional, half-mad musician. The tempo and tone of the piece varies rapidly from moment to moment reflecting the mercurial behaviour of the musician. Daniel de Borah performed this work with great passion and virtuosity.

The audience went home feeling that this pianist is someone to watch out for as his skilled and expressive playing combine well with great confidence. Still in his early twenties, he has much great music to deliver over coming years.

The concert was presented with the support of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

Ian Sargeant



10th February 2006 – Rachel Brown & Laurence Cummings

JS Bach spent a lot of time composing music. He also spent a lot of time just drawing lines on sheets of paper creating the music staves into which he then wrote his compositions. When he had written one particular concerto, he was left with three spare staves of music at the bottom of each page. Not wanting to waste this scarce resource, he composed his Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in A. Some time later a person, perhaps Bach himself, took scissors and cut out these bars of music from certain pages leaving an incomplete first movement and the work is therefore rarely performed.

However,at this members’ evening concert held at Farnham Castle, the Tilford Bach Society listened with rapture to the complete work. The internationally acclaimed flutist, Rachel Brown, has composed music to fill the missing 47-bar section seamlessly and she delighted a large audience at in her performance of this work.

But this was just one of many musical items in a fascinating concert that quite captivated the TBS. Rachel Brown, with Laurence Cummings on the harpsichord, delivered a sequence of interesting pieces ranging from Quantz (famous in his day as flutist and composer in the court of Frederick the Great) to Couperin, Handel, Telemann and Bach. Vignettes of historical background on each piece were offered to an appreciative audience.

Rachel Brown’s recorder playing of the final piece, a Telemann sonata, was quite stunning, giving the impression of two separate instruments being played at the same time. Laurence Cummings, as one of the country’s leading baroque performers, both complemented the flutist to perfection throughout and delivered his own virtuoso sections with consummate ease.

Both of these artistes are, of course, well known to our society, but their appearance together at a Farnham Castle evening was a premier event. If the sentiment of the audience is a gauge, this should not be the last such occasion.

Ian Sargeant