Although the coronavirus pandemic prevented our 2020 summer season from going ahead, we were delighted to be able to collaborate with our neighbours at Saffron Hall to present two special autumn recitals on 10 October by gifted young pianist Martin James Bartlett. This was made possible by Saffron Hall’s dedication to providing a safe, distanced environment in their state-of-the-art flexible environment, at a time when we were unable to enjoy performances in Thaxted Parish Church.
In Beethoven’s anniversary year, Martin played his Sonata No.3, Opus 31, together with works by Rachmaninov, arrangements by Earl Wild, and a virtuoso finale of George Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm.
With seating at tables spaced out in the hall, and separate individual balcony seats, our audience of Thaxted Music Lovers enjoyed their exclusive hour-long performance by Martin in the early afternoon, while our highly appreciative wider audience enjoyed a late afternoon repeat performance. This was the first opportunity many of us had had since spring 2020 to hear live music of any kind, and the first time Martin had been able to perform in the UK since then.
Our capacity audiences showed just what a pent-up appetite there is for live performance, which we plan to satisfy further with our 2021 season in Thaxted Church.