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In an afternoon filled with enchanting melodies and eerie anecdotes, Miss Palfreyman (piano), Miss Wilby (flute), and Mrs Loveridge (violin) presented a recital on the theme of Musical Magic and Mystery. From iconic film tunes to celebrated classical compositions, we were treated to a stellar lineup of music which transformed the Chapel, for just a brief half-hour, into a mystical realm of magic. 

The recital began with themes from Harry Potter, performed on violin, flute, and, in particular, the ethereal celeste. Miss Palfreyman then played Rosemary Brown’s Longing, a piece supposedly dictated to Brown by the ghost of Schumann, in which one can hear a wistful, flowing melody above eddying arpeggio figures in the left hand.

Then swooped in Saint-Saëns’ The Swan, with Mrs Loveridge playing the swan’s melancholy melody and Miss Palfreyman accompanying with paddling semiquavers, perfectly depicting the picturesque glide of a graceful swan across the rippling waters of a lake. This was followed by another of Saint-Saëns’ compositions, Danse Macabre, where rattling skeletons danced back to life through the sinister music performed by Mrs Loveridge, Miss Wilby, and Miss Palfreyman.

Treading on the heels of Saint-Saëns, Miss Palfreyman launched into a powerful rendition of Mussorgsky’s Baba Yaga, which tells the harrowing Slavic folk tale of a witchy old woman living in a hut with teetering chicken legs.

As a glorious finale, Mrs Loveridge, Miss Wilby, and Miss Palfreyman joined together to paint a musical scene of roaring trolls in Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King

With that, we concluded a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of magic, mystery, and music, in which the audience was able to step out of the chilly November weather into a whimsical world of wizards, ghosts, and goblins.

The dedication to creating a memorable experience was evident not only in every note played, but also in Miss Palfreyman, Miss Wilby, and Mrs Loveridge’s array of spooky costumes. It was a delight to spend a part of my afternoon immersed in music, and I truly hope there will be more recitals to come!

Norah, LVI