Blenheim Concerts - A Review

Sunday 9th May 2010

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Susan FitzGerald, Alex Birchall and Marcus Andrews are three performers of the highest calibre who formed the Karrilon Trio in 2001 primarily to explore the repertoire written for Flute, Oboe and Piano.

Their concert on Sunday was exceptional. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. It was a beautifully crafted programme which included many, much loved works.

The opening Trio Sonata in D minor by Telemann was played with great elegance and sensitivity in the Largo and Affetuoso movements and with much energy, direction and clear articulation in the Allegro and Presto, bringing the crisp rhythmic patterns into sharp focus. This was a joy to listen to and it set the tone for the rest of the concert.

Alex Birchall and Marcus Andrews then played Poulenc’s Sonata for oboe and piano, much of it extremely challenging for both instruments, but admirably played, allowing them both to demonstrate their prodigious techniques.

The first half ended with a Trio by Madeleine Dring, a charming piece of writing with overtones of Poulenc and touches of cabaret style. I had not previously known this work, but Cecilia McDowall (a member of the committee) told us all that it had been written for her father (Harold Clarke, principal flautist at the Royal Opera House) and for Madeleine Dring’s husband (Roger Lord, principal oboist of the LSO). We were also told by the Chairman of Blenheim Concerts, Rosalind Leney, that she had been a student with Madeleine Dring at the Royal College of Music, and that Madeleine was a remarkable singer, pianist, composer and writer and performer of sketches for the well known Players’ Theatre (underneath the arches at Charing Cross).

After the interval the Karrilon Trio continued their programme with the glorious Trio Sonata in C minor by Quantz, followed by a piece for flute and piano Pan et les bergers (Pan and his shepherds) by Jules Mouquet. Susan Fitzgerald played with exquisite tone and dexterity.

The last two works of the afternoon were Pastorale et harlequinade, a captivating piece by Eugene Goosens, and a new work, Flight Paths, written especially for the Trio by Stuart Hancock.

An outstanding concert given by three consummate musicians. It was a privilege to hear them play.


Phoebe Woollam



The next concert is on Sunday 4th July 2010
at 3.30 pm in the Chiswick Catholic Centre.
Tanya Cooling – coloratura soprano
Charlotte Forrest - piano
will perform arias by Verdi & Mozart, songs by Strauss
& Liszt and songs from Musicals.

May 14, 2010

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