Tuesday, 15 March 2011


On 8 March it was the turn of the Royal Academy of Music to provide the musicians for our second concert in the 2011 series.  Past Master Sir Nicholas Jackson Bt had organised a most interesting programme with the Academy.

This included two harp pieces, Claude Debussy's Danse sacree et Danse profane and Maurice Ravel's Introduction and allegro.  Nicholas reminded the audience that these two pieces had been commissioned by major harp makers in the first decade of the last century to display the versatility of this instrument to best effect.  Akiko Awaki played the Debussy and Elen Hydref the Ravel.  Both performances brought out both the opulence and the slight sadness of the pieces in most interesting ways. 

One can possibly read too much of the fin de siecle element into Debussy and Ravel's music at this time, especially when played on a harp and other string instruments. We know in hindsight that within a few years the life of Europe had brutally changed and it was never the same again.  Be that as it mwy, what we did hear was two most poignant and limpid performances.

A nice piece of symmetry was the Livery Hall decor dates from the period of the music and somehow the marble, gilt and general decoration of the room matched the harp and supporting instruments.

In complete contrast Reinis Zarins took us through Liszt's Nuage Gris and Etude No 8 in C Minor, Chopin's Ballade No 4 in F minor, WildeJagd and Ravel's Miroirs: Alborada del gracioso.  A friend of mine once remarked that Liszt piano pieces where 'there to be played.'  The same applies to Chopin and Ravel.  Reinis did not disappoint and gave a great series of performances combining energy with panache.

Finally Reinis and the Tyburn String Quartet gave a beautifully realised performance of Brahms Piano quintet in F minor, Op 34.

Yet another great evening where a group of young and hugely talented musicians performed to a sell-out and very appreciative audience.

The final concert is on Wednesday 4 May and will feature musicians from the Guildhall School of Music.

No comments:

Post a Comment