Dolgellau Music Club welcomed the Tim Kliphuis Trio to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor on Friday, 15 March.

The first half was based largely on Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition, which – 150 years on from its composition – had received a standing ovation back in January when performed in the original version by pianist Victor Maslov; so the music was still fresh in mind. 'Bydlo' ('cattle', or the ox-cart) was a good example, with Roy Percy's double bass vividly evoking heavy wagon wheels rolling through mud. 'Promenade' (through the 'exhibition') came three times, with different variations each time.

The Old Castle, Gnomus and the witch Baba Yaga all cast a spell, with this seasoned ensemble (in its 18th year of touring) effortlessly passing the baton as it were from one instrument to another, as well as producing a strong gelled sound.

Guitarist Nigel Clark (using acoustic strings) had listeners agog to hear every detail of his mesmerising solos. Ray's bass solos too were compelling, full of rhythmic bite. Inspired by the source piece, Tim has composed and added to the sequence new musical representations of famous paintings like Klimt’s The Kiss (in which his violin climbed tenderly to the heights of its top E string), Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Hokusai’s Great Wave and Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ritz Tower. This last gave scope for a real New York workout, Tim leading the field in the 'hottest' item thus far. The Trio's renderings of two Stephane Grappelli/Django Reinhardt favourites opened the second half: 'I surrender, dear' (Bing Crosby's first hit in 1931 and recorded that year by Louis Armstrong), and the big French hit of World War II, 'J'attendrai'.

In the same vein came the 1937 Hoagy Carmichael hit 'The Nearness of you', as romantic as you could wish, channelling the original's lyrics ('It's not the pale moon that excites me That thrills and delights me, oh no It's just the nearness of you…').

In complete contrast came two virtuoso displays based on classical standards, Bach's 3rd Brandenburg Concerto and Vivaldi's Winter from the Four Seasons, in the opening passages of which Tim showed his prowess as a violinist in any style. This was no less true in the imaginative and intimate choice of encore – an interpretation of Richard Strauss's much loved Morgen, one of the songs the composer gave his wife Pauline (an operatic soprano) in 1894 as a wedding present, 'As over us rapture's great hush will flow'.

A perfect ending, rounding off perfectly a successful and enjoyable season.

Thanks again to David Vaughan and co. for supporting the event.