Luke, Alex and Helen

Helen Lacey concert review

Helen Lacey Concert Review

Much of the usual LMF audience comes from outside of Lamberhurst, but on Friday night, this was very different. The majority of the guests seemed to be from the Village and it was quite evident that the whole community had really decided to support this concert. Helen Lacey has sung in St Mary’s choir for many years and has just finished her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. She has also sung at Glyndebourne and is a one time finalist of the BBC Young Chorister of the year.

Helen brought two friends with her – pianist Alexandra Standing and clarinettist Luke Holman. The combined age of these three wonderful musicians was probably less than the average age of the audience! I was amazed at how young, talented, skilful and professional they were.

The programme they introduced was very varied and switched between piano and voice, piano and clarinet, and all three together. We were treated to well known composers such as Purcell, Handel and Mozart. We also heard lesser lights like Schumann – Clara, not Robert. In addition to this, we enjoyed some more modern composers – Reynaldo Hahn and Muriel Herbert, to name two. The programme worked really well as a whole, and the transition between pieces was seamlessly executed.

Helen’s voice was a revelation. For such a slight performer, her projection was amazing and the church was totally filled with her sound. Her tone was extremely impressive, particularly considering the different musical genres she took on.

Alexandra’s piano playing was understated when accompanying Helen, but she came to the fore when tackling Chopin’s Barcarolle. One could almost feel the sway of the Gondolier’s craft as she worked her way through this beautiful piece. Alex’s rendition of Erwin Schulhoff’s Chanson from 5 Etudes de Jazz showcased her versatility.

Luke’s clarinet playing was a joy to listen to, and his performance of the extremely challenging Schumann Fantasiesstucke was technically superb. Accompanied by Alex, he had the audience mesmerised as he played what is one of the hardest pieces in the clarinettist’s repertoire.

Separately, all three musicians were brilliant. Together they became much more than the sum of their parts. Their renditions of pieces such as ‘The Shepherd on the Rock’ and the impressive encore ‘Summertime’ displayed real genius. The audience absolutely loved them, and I really expect them to be the classical superstars of the future.

The proceeds of the concert all went to the church restoration fund set up to carry out much needed work to the fabric of the church. The LMF were delighted to be able to present a cheque in the sum of £2000 to Reverend Andrew.