Melody in serene ambience

Melody in serene ambience

Sam Baker, a young music scholar from the Oxford University, took the stage at the St Andrew’s Church during the weekend and mesmerised the music-lovers in the City. The church was packed to the hilt as Sam performed on the piano and organ as part of a concert titled ‘Festive Flourishes’, organised by the church in association with International Music & Arts Society (IMAS). 

The talented artiste was visibly excited to be playing in the City. “This is a tremendous place to make music. The building is beautiful and wonderfully looked after,” he exclaimed. The entire session was divided into three segments — organ, piano and organ once again as the artiste played the two instruments with perfection. He started the first segment with Jeremiah Clarke’s ‘Prince of Denmark’s March’, which was a delightful melody and went on to play Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s ‘Prelude to “Te Deum”’ and George Frideric Handel’s ‘“Air” and “Allegro” from the Water Music’. “This is my favourite piece of Handel’s,” he explained about the last piece. 

The second session, which comprised the piano, had compositions of Claude Debussy (‘Arabesque No. 1 & 2’), Frederic Chopin like ‘Waltz in Ab from Ob. 69’ and a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach — Sam’s personal favourite. “Bach’s compositions are complex yet there is a certain beauty to them. His music speaks incredibly and is strongly beautiful,” said Sam. He ended the segment with the really catchy ‘Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head’, a composition by Burt Bacharach, which had everyone tapping their feet. 

 In the third and last segment, Sam played compositions from Felix Mendel­ssohn-Bartholdy, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar, William Walton, Eric Coates and once again, JS Bach.  It was the first collaboration between the IMAS and the church and much to the delight of music-lovers, there may be more to follow as Patrick Wilson from the IMAS explained, “You don’t find as many fabulous settings as the one of the church.

 Besides, the organ is a rare instrument and a concert like this provided a lovely chance for us to hear it. We really hope to do more such concert in future.” Having worked closely with the artiste, Patrick said he loved Sam’s enthusiasm the most. “His enthusiasm came across in the way he interacted with the audience,” he noted.

The audience was an impressed lot and appreciated each of the pieces. Oriole Henry, a professional who had come for the show, just loved it. “He spoke so confidently. It was as if he was talking to his friends,” she said. “Since I’m not very knowledgable about western classical music, I was very happy when he explained each of the songs. Thanks to that, I could really feel the music when he played it,” she added. 

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