Mediterranean Moods for Saxophone and Piano at Wigmore Hall by ProQuest

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									Concert Reviews
Worst storms for 20 years? warm your soul: go to a concert!
 CBSO at Manchester’s Bridgewater                  drew the strands together with vision and          title, Mediterranean Moods stretched geo-
              Hall                                 command.                                           graphy somewhat, and the very rare opport-
                                                      For me though, the performance of the           unity of hearing such music in excellent perf-
     o keep things fresh in Manchester, The        night came before the interval. Nikolai Lug-       ormances proved a great attraction. The
T    Hallé and CBSO came up with an
intriguing idea to trade places for a concert on
                                                   ansky played Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Con-
                                                   certo – a tricky prospect when pretty much
                                                                                                      opening work, Florent Schmitt’s Legende, of
                                                                                                      1918, is admirably consistent in style, being
8 January, and consequently it was the             the entire audience has their own favourite        not inferior to Debussy’s Rhapsodies, which it
orchestra from Birmingham who entertained          recording playing simultaneously in their          at times resembles. Paul Creston’s three-
at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, conducted        minds! Lugansky changed all that. His unique       movement Sonata of 1939 is arguably the
at short notice, by Dmitri Slobodeniouk.           decisions on rubato, dynamics, crescendo and       finest such work written for this medium. It is
    I haven’t heard the CBSO live for a few        sheer musicality, made this performance one        so well written, speaking directly to the list-
years now and they have certainly maintained       in a million. The blend between soloist and        ener and demonstrating Creston’s impressively
a wonderfully high standard of playing over        orchestra was seamless, the second movement:       natural gifts. It received an extremely fine
the years. Nielsen’s Rhapsodic Overture: A         a meditation. The finale raised the perform-       performance, Mei Yi proving herself a splen-
Fantasy Journey to the Faroe Islands was           ance further. Lugansky made the listener really    did partner, as she did throughout the recital.
tremendous fun. The strings depicting the sea      appreciate the beauty of the sound that could      In the first of two solo piano items, the very
caught the interest from the start; the E flat     be produced on the Bridgewater Hall’s              rarely heard Three Romances by Clara Wieck
clarinet seagull calls added some flavour and      Steinway, allowing chords to die away to their     from 1839, she showed that she is a mature
the rhythms of the Faroese tunes carried the       very last overtones and to highlight the bold-     artist indeed, and I look forward to a full-scale
party forward with some atmosphere. It’s no        ness of the bass notes to assume a character of    recital from her. Pierre Sancan’s impressive
wonder these rustic melodies captured Percy        their own. A ravishing performance!                Lamento et Rondo for saxophone and piano
Grainger’s attention so much.                                                        JOHN BYRNE       from 1973 made a similarly strong and direct
    The concert ended with Nielsen’s                                                                  impression as had the works by Schmitt and
Symphony no. 4, The Inexting-                                     Mediterranean Moods for             Creston.
uishable. Here, Slobodeniouk                                        Saxophone and Piano                   Jules Demersseman (1833-66) was an early
was in his element. His                                                 at Wigmore Hall               exponent of the saxophone; his Fantasie, a
awareness of accent,                                                                                  theme and variations, inhabits the virtuoso
rhythm and the terrific                                                        he programme by        school of instrumentalist-composers of the
variety of instrumental
combinations and tex-
                                                                         T     the    Greek-born
                                                                           saxophonist Theodore
                                                                                                      mid-nineteenth-century. The Toccata-finale of
                                                                                                      Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin received from
tures, made this a great                                                  Kerkezos at Wigmore         Mei Yi Foo an account that was positively
performance. From rustic                                                 Hall on 18 January wa
								
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