Anando Mukerjee and Richard Nunn

David Shavreen reviews the latest presentation Blenheim Concerts

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Blenheim Concerts


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On Sunday, 9th July, the Blenheim Concert was given by Anando Mukerjee (Tenor) and Richard Nunn (Piano). It was good to welcome them back since their last concert in May 2004 had been much enjoyed. This time they were competing with Wimbledon and Berlin and all the excitement of the international sport – fest. It was a day of heroic challenges and they rose manfully to the occasion. The result was a splendid concert ranging from Bellini and Rossini through to Reynaldo Hahn and Henri Duparc by way of Liszt and Richard Strauss.

To have master and pupil together is not always a guarantee of a fine performance, for the pupil cannot but be a little self - conscious in the presence of one who is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his pupil, but in this case the marriage worked well; the honeyed voice of the pupil and the delicate stylish playing of the master evoking a sympathetic blend.

No-one should underestimate the difficulty of holding the attention of an audience for an hour and a half of continuous singing, and It is perhaps few artists who can master the various styles which make up the vast range of Art Song. A honeyed voice which does justice to Gel Canto is not always appropriate to the drama of the Lieder or the later French repertoire which require a greater intensity of feeling, but under firm control.

This internal drama requires the appropriate support of the face, the arm gestures, the body language. Mr. Mukerjee’s genial features on occasion were good at the restraint, less good at registering distress and yearning. As it was there were moments when the power of the high register was almost overwhelming and others where the fun and sparkle was underplayed. it takes a great deal to fit a big voice to a small hall. But these are matters of detail. Mr. Mukerjee’s sympathies were most tellingly expressed in the second half of the programme when he released himself from the safe shelter of his favourite niche by the piano and really got to grips with the drama of Strauss and the subtlety of French song. Then it was a veritable triumph worthy of the great day.

David A. Shavreen.


The next concert in the 19th Season of The Blenheim Music Circle will be held on Sunday, 17th September, at 3.30 p.m in the Chiswick Catholic Centre, 2 Duke’s Avenue. Cecilia Sultana de Maria, Harp, will play works by Bach, Mayer, Hasselmans, Pierné, Watkins, Saizedo & Tournier. Tickets £6 at the door (under 18s £3.)

July 21, 2006

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