A 'Quite Outstanding' Concert
Phoebe Woollam reviews the first Blenheim Music Circle concert of the year
Because the usual venue was double-booked, the concert took place in Rosalind Leney’s studio in Bedford Park where she has a Blüthner grand piano with a really lovely tone. It was a pleasure to hear this instrument played by the pianist Nico de Villiers who was performing with the ‘cellist Corinne Morris. Both these soloists have distinguished careers and it was a privilege to hear them play together.
Beethoven’s Sonata Op. 102 which opened the programme was a powerful interpretation played with sensitivity and commitment. The ‘cello was magnificent, producing a dramatic tone in the lower register and a beautiful cantabile at the top of the instrument. The dark opening of the second movement was powerful and controlled and both instruments produced stunning contrasts in dynamic. The contrapuntal texture in the third movement was expertly managed and precisely articulated. Nico de Villiers’ playing was understated and polished. Quite excellent.
The Schumann Fantasiestücke Op. 73 was splendidly played, demonstrating great variety of tone and dynamic. The technically demanding piano part provided a powerful ensemble with the piano and together they produced an impressive performance.
Debussy’s ‘Cello Sonata is another demanding work and both the ‘cello and the piano rose to the occasion in a work which is technically extremely challenging for both instruments. The piano opening was authoritative and both instruments played with precise, rhythmic attack and spectacular articulation. A convincing, dramatic performance.
The concert ended with Saint-Saëns’ ‘Cello Sonata in C minor, another extremely demanding piece. Both players achieved a sensitive contrast in dynamic textures and gave a splendid performance
The next concert is on Sunday 8th March 2015
January 22, 2015