Monday 1st November 2021



COLIN BROCKIE: Bass Baritone



A selection of Vocal Duets and Solos by Mendelssohn, Duparc, Hahn,

Finzi, Quilter and Sullivan

The third in the current series of eight live performances promoted by Aberdeen Chamber Music Concerts was given by The Hately Trio, named after Dorothy Hately, founder of North East of Scotland Music School. The three performers who make up the Hately Trio first met at the North East of Scotland Music School (NESMS). Moira Docherty studied singing at the School when she moved from Glasgow to the North East. As well as being a vocal student at the school, Colin Brockie was administrative assistant to Joan Thomas who was then Administrator. Colin moved to Manchester to complete his Masters in Solo Performance at the Royal Northern College. As well as being a gifted bass baritone singer, he is currently the Administrator at NESMS.

For many years Tim Tricker has been a gifted piano accompanist at the School where he met both Moira and Colin. He has now joined with them as the pianist of the Trio. I will not call him their accompanist, since musically, he is very much their equal as a member of the Trio.

Monday’s programme was particularly attractive and well constructed. It had a perfectly finely balanced sequence of vocal duets and solos, opening with two duets by Mendelssohn sung in German. These were originally composed, as Moira told us, for two sopranos, but they worked spectacularly well for soprano and bass baritone with Moira’s gently soaring soprano underpinned by Colin’s warm vocal support. There followed two groups of three songs in French, by Duparc from Colin and Hahn from Moira. I studied French at the University and I can say that Colin’s French was excellent. My fellow audience member who is originally a native German tells me that both singers had perfect German.

I was impressed from the outset by Tim Tricker’s piano contribution. In Duparc’s La vie antérieure. the piano matched Colin’s passionate outbursts to perfection. In Chanson Triste both piano and voice flowed deliciously together.

Hahn’s three songs were delightfully varied in style. In À Chloris, echoes of Bach on piano supported Moira’s lovely floating melody while in Fêtes galantes, the text by Paul Verlaine and its likely inspiration in a painting by Watteau were brought so vibrantly and colourfully to life in today’s performance by Moira Docherty and Tim Tricker.

There followed another piece by Mendelssohn but this time in Scots. Oh wert thou in the cauld blast, with its text by Robert Burns is set as a lovely duet and it received a masterfully well balanced performance from Moira and Colin, yes and Tim too. For me, it was a high point of the whole performance.

The three settings of Shakespeare songs by Gerald Finzi seemed to have a warm smile woven into the music and Colin’s voice with a generous resonance across his whole wide range was so well suited to English song in these three sunshine songs out of the five in Finzi’s ‘Let Us Garlands Bring’ –  the title taken from Who is Sylvia?

Moira’s three songs by Roger Quilter were so fresh sounding and clear. William Blake’s words in Dream Valley were performed with supreme delicacy by both singer and piano. In Come, O come, my life’s delight! Moira’s voice soared easily and freely to the top notes. Best of all though was June, with words by the English journalist and poet Nora Hopper. Both text and music brought a welcome warm waft of summer into a cold Scottish church at the start of November.

To complete the official part of the performance our vocal duo gave us ‘The Dicky Bird and the Owl’ with music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and words by Margaret Sinclair. A teasingly coquettish songstress with operatic ambitions (Moira) was set against her sullen next-door neighbour (Colin) who is fed up with her warblings – “Tweedle ee die dee”. This was great fun. Not just well sung but joyfully well acted by both singers. Both afternoon and early evening audiences responded enthusiastically and were rewarded with a special encore. This was ‘Trot here and There’ from the second act of the operetta Véronique by André Messager, ‘De-ci, de-là’ in the original French. The English version was a big hit for Anne Ziegler and Webster Booth, but today, just give me Moira Docherty and Colin Brockie and of course Tim Tricker trotting along on their cute little donkey!  

Hately Trio – 1 November 2021: Review