Weather makes Water Music fitting theme for recital

On Sunday, January 19th, Blenheim Concerts presented a programme of piano music given by Mary Bruce under the title of Water Music. It was billed as a Lecture/ Recital and took the form of introductions to the Individual composers. Unfortunately although Mary Bruce has a pleasant voice and manner, it was difficult for those further back always to hear what she was saying.

The idea of water music was a fruitful one. This was not the province of Handel’s royal entertainment but rather water as the symbol of change, of the journey from the light of youth with its vitality and vigour, through contented stillness or the defiance of storm and stress, to the unfathomable seas that end life’s journey. So we had fountains, tempests, mists and showers of rain, and the mystery and enchantment that goes with tone poems and whole-tone scales.

It was Liszt who developed the tone poem that dominated the afternoon’s music and we had both the dazzling arpeggios of the fountains of the Villa d’Este and the fierce rumblings of his “Orage”. Janacek’s “In the Mists” followed. Shapes drifted through woodland, undefined as yet, but hinting at his animal opera "The Cunning Little Vixen”.

It was the French composers who dominated the programme. First, Gabriel Fauré with a Barcarolle, a vivid description of a boat rocking on the sea, and then his pupil Ravel’s “Jeux d'eau" beautifully played with all the rush and sparkle that such pieces demand. Miss Bruce’s obvious love of these composers brought life to the Water nymph “Ondine” and coloured Debussy’s “Reflets dans l’eau” so that the echoing forms floated on the clear surface of the water. There followed “La Cathédrale Engloutie” which was vividly shaped, so that the clamour of the bells, rising and falling with the ebb and flow of the sea, emerged unmistakably from the tide of notes, and “Jardins sous Ia Pluie” where the slanting rods of a sudden shower interrupt the singing of children at play. These provided a fitting prelude to our own departure into the rainy evening.

David Shavreen.

The next concert of the 2003 Season will be given at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday, 16th March, In the Chiswick Catholic Centre by Maria Zacharladou, Cello, and Richard Shaw, Piano. They will play works by Brahms, Schumann, Bridge and Prokofiev.

Fiorini Trio delight full house

An Afternoon of Delightful Music from a Guitar and Voice Duo

More details about Blenheim Concerts