Review: Two rising stars shine bright in Sidmouth

Joel Munday and Lucas Krupinski

Joel Munday and Lucas Krupinski - Credit: Contributed

Last weekend audiences were treated to two exceptional concerts in Sidmouth Parish Church. 

The audience welcomed the return of the Isca Ensemble directed by Roger Hendy together with the highly gifted young Devonian violinist, Joel Munday. Following a delightful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Sérénadé Mélancolique, a  glorious Beethoven Violin Concerto was exquisitely delivered by Joel and the orchestra. For someone as young as he, Joel’s playing was of a remarkably advanced standard. Playing with absolute conviction and assuredness, his violin sang out with a most beautiful tone. For this work, the orchestra and conductor count just as much as the violinist or rather the need for a fine ensemble, and this is exactly what was achieved. 

Every change of mood seemed to start with the soloist and then seamlessly taken up by the players – this was an ensemble that respected the soloist allowing him to project those glorious themes. One noticeable highpoint was the Larghetto second movement. Played by Joel with real passion, we were given a glimpse of a romantic Beethovenian spirit. There was also a great spirited performance of Beethoven’s second symphony.

On Sunday, July 18, another audience was enthralled by the brilliant playing of pianist Lucas Krupinski from Warsaw who delivered a rich programme of Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev. His delivery of the Beethoven ‘Appassionata’ sonata was mesmerising and compelling. Lucas strove to get to the real heart of Beethoven's music, to cut through the veneer, to enable us to hear it as if we'd never heard it before and this he accomplished effortlessly and with impeccable precision.

Two contrasting pieces by Liszt followed, convincing us of the soloist’s phenomenal technique. Finally, Lucas performed the Third Sonata by Prokofiev. With well-chosen tempi and phrasing, he approached this sonata with renewed energy to conclude a truly memorable recital.


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