Thursday, July 17, 2008
CLASSICS ON A SUMMER EVENING
Last week in my capacity as Vice Chairman of Beds County Council I attended the Bunyan Meeting Free Church in Bedford, the venue for a charity concert in aid of the Bedford Hospitals Charity Cancer Screening Appeal and Sue Ryder Care - St. John's Hospice at Moggerhanger.
The Ensemble of London gave a wonderful performance of music by Mozart, Bach, Purcell, Scott Joplin and Uruguayan pieces arranged by Antonio Cucchiara, a leading British violinist. However, the undoubted star was David Cohen, Belgian born Principal Cellist of the Philharmonia, who, playing a priceless 1735 cello, thrilled the audience with the Moses variations by Paganini, a Boccherini cello concerto and Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate. Cohen reminded me of the late Jacqueline Du Pre as he hugged his cello - man and instrument combined to produce riveting world class music for an appreciative Bedford audience.
I was delighted to support these worthy charities, having recently lost two close female relatives within 7 months. The Cancer Screening appeal is close to raising £400,000 for new endoscopy equipment at Bedford Hospital, where my mother in law was treated for cancer. She died at the Moggerhanger Hospice who provide a wonderful service to patients and their famiies, but need to raise £1 million annually to fund their work.
The Bunyan Meeting Free Church is a perfect venue for a concert, with its famous window of John Bunyan, Bedford's most famous son. Bunyan was born in Elstow where I live and am proud to represent Elstow and Wilstead on two Councils.