Thomas Bowes

The light, airy and acoustically rich chapel of the Old Royal Naval College was the perfect place to listen to JS Bach’s sublime violin sonatas being played in their entirety by this internationally acclaimed soloist. But Bowes is also a renowned mentor and teacher and on this occasion he was joined by Trinity Laban violinists Asma Ben Miriem, Isabella Fleming, Helena Moore, Borys Myszkowski and Melisande Yavuz as well as classical guitarist Jonathan Parkin, harpist Imogen Garnett and pianist Jialin Feng to intersperse his glorious renditions with Bach-inspired pieces by student composers Fintan O’Hare and Callum Stephens. Bowes’ own performance beautifully captured the heartache at the core of the sonatas and partitas, which Bach wrote in the aftermath of his wife’s death. And that sense of melancholy was echoed by the Trinity contributions, particularly O’Hare’s Unwind, which took a melodic figure from the G minor sonata and developed it in a simple but lovely arrangement for guitar, harp and violin. The contrast between master and pupil both in the writing and performing made this a recital to remember.

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