With such brilliantly lucid and interesting programme notes written by John York, one could say there was little need for a review.  But this concert was like no other. Where you have two close friends in a musical partnership for at least 35 years with a huge repertoire spanning all major global concert halls and recording studios, you can expect a musical experience that transcends the ordinary and releases hidden depths of emotional content. 

The first piece was Rebecca Clarke’s Rhapsody of 1923, in four extraordinary movements, full of intense and sweeping passages as if capturing energies of the very universe itself; colour following colour, building up and sweeping down from a palette of thunderous primeval hues.  How did this partnership come to reveal such blazing turmoil so wonderfully that evening?

Peace and a gentler familiarity followed in Beethoven’s A major Sonata, Op.69., played as though these friends were still discovering fresh secrets in its texture.

Martinu’s witty Seven Arabesques (Etudes rhythmiques) followed the interval with delicious light styling, and the final item was Mendelssohn’s D major Sonata Op.58., just glowing with the delight of uninhibited energy and joy.

This review is incomplete without some mention of the cello which, is believed to have been Wallfisch’s gorgeous 1760 Gennaro Gagliano.  It was as though every note drawn from this lovely instrument was already primed, tuned, focussed, and given form beforehand.  With each sonority, irrespective of tempo or dynamic, there was a deeply enriching sound accompanied by the excitingly vibrant edge as bow cut into string.  Truly magical.  How very privileged we were.

 

Review kindly supplied by A. Corfe