What a fantastic concert Lizzie Ball and Classical Kicks delivered to a packed house at the Cavendish Hall on Tuesday 10 September to open our 2019/20 season! It lived up to its billing of delivering classical music in a down to earth manner for a wider audience. And what a manner! During the evening the quartet delighted the audience with Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango, Bela Bartok’s Six Romanian Dances and Manuel de Falla’s Seven Spanish Songs. The concert also included Hungarian Dances (Brahms), Manuel Ponce’s Estrellita, Consuelo Velasquez’s Besame Mucho, Max Richter’s variations of Vivaldi’s Four Seaons, and Bluegrass Medley which was recorded on the night:
Although the programme suggested an evening of Bartok, Piazzolla, Velazquez, Vivaldi and Copland, each piece was staged with a Classical Kicks twist. Vivaldi deconstructed perhaps best sums it up. The musicality was wonderful with each piece played exquisitely by musicians at the top of their game.
The quality of the artistes – Lizzie (Violin/Vocals/producer), Gabriella Swallow (Cello), Milos Milivojevic (Accordion) and James Turner (Percussion) – shone through and each took a solo turn displaying their expertise. After explaining the workings, Milos demonstrated the extraordinary range of the accordion with a sombre piece by Viktor Vlasov evoking a melancholic story of the Russian gulags. Complimenting this was Gabriella with a breath-taking performance of a cello classic, Saint Saens’ The Swan. James shared flare and versatility on a variety of percussion instruments ranging from a triangle to a marimba whilst Lizzie used her turn to demonstrate her vocals and continue with a dialogue that brought great intimacy to the evening.
But the down to earth approach did not stop with the music; the ensemble’s personal attire deserves mention too. No traditional evening gowns and tails on display here, just visually exciting outfits. Lizzie in a stunning red dress and black booties was equalled by Gabriella who had teamed her flaming red hair with a very flamboyant black and white check collared, amber and green coat jacket. James and Milos’s black, grey and white outfits may have lacked colour but were musicians equivalent of cyclist’s gear for of a very active percussionist and an accordion player managing a 15kg instrument.
The evening was a homecoming for Lizzie Ball who admitted that the last time she played for the Peak Music Society in the Cavendish Hall was when she was sixteen! Educated locally at Lady Manners School, Lizzie has gone onto international fame and founded Classical Kicks in 2012 with an inaugural performance at Ronnie Scott’s in London. The ensemble appeared at the Buxton Festival in July but their genius is so compelling that another capacity local audience turned out mid-week just two months later.
For more information about Classical Kicks, visit their website.