Celebrity Concert
Sunday 25th August 2013

Yvonne Kenny AM (soprano) and Simon Tedeschi (pianoforte)

Celebrity Concert indeed! Clearly the people of the Southern Highlands anticipated such for they came to fill - literally, as it was necessary almost to “shoe horn” in the last few people waiting - St Jude’s Anglican Church. And surely this audience, in the order of 250 people, were not disappointed.

Yvonne Kenny is an internationally known and celebrated soprano who has given pleasure to audiences, certainly, in this country for many years. Simon Tedeschi, of a younger generation, is establishing himself here and internationally as an extremely accomplished and versatile key board musician who, for this performance, played a pianoforte.

The structure of the program was straight forward: two sessions, with an interval - Centennial wines of local fame would have been delighted with all the people available to taste during the interval. Each session had Yvonne Kenny sing two brackets, accompanied by Simon Tedeschi who performed solo on the pianoforte in between the brackets.

The first session could be considered as the more serious, classical part of the program. Yvonne Kenny sang Schubert, Faure, Debussy and Hahn (the latter was unknown to the writer, however Mr Google helped establish that he was Venezuelan, naturalised French, who lived in the latter part of the 19th Century and into the mid-20th century). Simon Tedeschi played a Schubert Impromptu and a piece from Debussy.

Following the interval we were presented with a lighter series of pieces. Yvonne Kenny sang folk songs of the British Isles and Ireland, the last of which, arranged by Percy Grainger, surely would have evoked much nostalgia and emotion: Danny Boy. Simon Tedeschi reversed the order in which he played the pieces listed in the program. First were three Gershwin Preludes, played with a remarkable intensity yet lightness; and then a Percy Grainger piece, In Dahomey. Yvonne Kenny finished the program with what she called some nostalgia with pieces from Gershwin, Kern and Novello. In telling us that these pieces were nostalgic Yvonne Kenney expressed her great pleasure in being in such a partnership with Simon Tedeschi. She likened being accompanied by him to having a Rolls Royce.

Through response, those present - the full house - showed how greatly both Yvonne Kenny and Simon Tedeschi were appreciated. It was indeed a celebrity Recital; we were privileged.

Stanley Croker
26th August 2013
Photo by Paul Gosney