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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Janine Jansen and Itmar Golan

Today is Tricia's birthday. So Happy birthday Trish.

Now she had been saying that she hasn't been to a concert for years. Now I was also aware that the BBC do a series of live lunchtime concerts that run for an hour. One such concert happened to be on her birthday so I asked would she be interested.... if one's hand can be bitten off from the other end of a key board mine was bitten off!

The concert was by the acclaimed Dutch violinist Janine Jansen and the pianist Itmar Golan. The programme was to be drawn from Jansen's latest album Beau Soir which showcases the works of French composers although the programme dropped the Ravel sonata for Violin and Piano in G major and replaced it with a piece by Schubert! (on the link you can here a track being played).

Jansen has been described as the queen of the downloads as I believe her recordings have done rather well on I-Tunes. I actually had a couple of her recordings (Vivaldi Four Seasons and Beethoven and Britten Violin concerto's) on my MP3 and they are very enjoyable.

Now I've NEVER been to a classical concert so I was unsure what to expect, my normal concert attire is a t-shirt and a pair of chinos, was I expected to wear a suit? Apparently yes!

We arranged to meet up with plenty of time to spare for the 1pm start. We were both early and had a pizza at Pizza Express.

The concert was held at St Luke's church a redundant church now used by the LSO.

The whole programme was to be:

Debussy Sonata in G Minor
Dubugnon La minute exquise; Hypnos; Retour à Montfort-l’Amaury
Messiaen Theme et variations
Schubert Sonata in A major D574

Now firstly I was over dressed not many people even bothered with a tie so I won't be bothering for the one Monday!

The Debussy was very nice, the Dubugnon sounded better live than it did on the album. Dubugnon is a modern composer and he was at the concert and came up to take a bow. For me the highlight was the Schubert - call me an old fuddy duddy if you like!

It's fascinating to watch a world class musician you appreciate how amazingly talented they are when you watch them.

A very enjoyable way to spend an hour.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

And the sun returned!

So after the awful weather of yesterday this afternoon was lovely!

I headed to Rye Meads, lots of singing birds Chiffchaff's back in force now! The other Warblers are on their way!

There were 4 Little Grebes at the Draper hide, a Green Sandpiper and the highlight was a Little Ringed Plover. I also got the usual brief views of 2 Cetti's Warbler's!

I thought I was going to be out of luck with pictures til this chap showed up.

I didn't get into the Kingfisher hide as it was packed. As the sun was shining I went for a wander.

This chap posed :D

A Grey Heron flew over.

On to the HMWT side of the reserve and my first Comma's of the year.

There was also a white flutter about.

This Swan played a game of hide and seek.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Peckover House

So all week it has been warm and sunny so of course come Saturday.... yup grey and

Highlights of the journey to Norfolk? some idiot reversing down the hard shoulder and the Sausage, Egg and Bacon roll :D

First stop Flitcham Abbey Farm, alas no Little Owl but there were plenty of Red Legged Partridge

There were also some Tree Sparrow's about.

Off to Choseley Barns, we passed a field full of Meadow Pipits, at Choseley the wind was bitter! But there were at least two dozen Yellowhammers and the males were glorious. A Skylark was in the sky singing and 3 Corn Buntings joinged the Yellowhammers and some Golden Plover took off. Glorious!

But the window was getting up and the skies were getting grey. As we approached Titchwell the heavens opened. I looked at Trish and asked if she REALLY wanted to go to Titch? Uh no was the answer. So we headed South and arived at the smallish National Trust property of Peckover House.

A stroll around the Gardens.

This chap was very friendly.

I had ummed and ahed on what lens to use. The compromise of a travel zoom was rewarded.

And so to lunch a rather yummy Vegetable soup.

Alas you can't take pics in the house. The house is not large but was very pleasant. Nice to hear Fur Elise being played on the piano eh Trish! ;)

Another wander around the garden.

We stopped back in the excellent cafe for a cuppa and some lovely cake.

The garden will be lovely in a few months. I think another visit will be necessary!

A Sparrowhawk whizzed across the front of the car on the way back.

A nice day but could we have the sun back please!