Hot Chocolate at 10

First things first. Let’s talk about that chocolate: That’s pure thick chocolate you’ve got there, melted and served hot with cream. It’s good. It’s really good. Once you’re warm and cosy with your hot chocolate, the lights in St Marks go out leaving the church to be lit mostly in natural candlelight. Now for the show: Tonight is Late Brahms on piano and clarinet. A selection of Brahms’ later work that helped popularise the clarinet in classical music. On clarinet is Calum Robertson and on piano, Chris Harding. In the second movement, Tim Cais accompanies on cello.

Once you’re warm and cosy with your hot chocolate, the lights in St Marks go out leaving the church to be lit mostly in natural candlelight.

The First movement is Sonata in Eb major op. 120 no.2. The clarinet and the piano complement each other beautifully with melodious crescendos followed swiftly by soft diminuendos in the Allegro amabile. The piano maintains a mostly staccato sound whilst the clarinet plays off beautifully with a legato contrast. In the Allegro appassionato the piano becomes more lively and passionate and is then calmer again in the Andante con moto, Allegro and erupting with a passionate flurry of demi-semi quavers in the Sonata’s finale. The cello comes in for the Trio in A minor op. 114 adding some beautiful variation to the compositions.

The music sounds great, reverberating around the stone walls and boat-like wooden ceiling of the beautiful St Mark’s Unitarian Church. The music is played excellently and the atmosphere is beautiful in St Mark’s at night; the candlelight, complemented by your hot chocolate, creates a wonderfully warm feeling. It’s just a shame there’s no cushions. But then again if you were too comfortable you might fall asleep. Situated just off the mile, opposite St Giles, the location is great for tourists and if you like your classical music, this is a lovely way to end your evening. Nights to look out for are the Late Schubert strings on the 14th, Multiple Bach harpsichords on the 19th and Rachmaninov on the 22nd.

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

Now in our sixth year, relaxing music by candlelight in this historic and sensuous church provide the perfect end to your day. Programme of vocal and instrumental music changing nightly. Hot chocolate served 21.30 to 21.55. Full programme details from or venue leaflet.

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