12 May 2023

Unusual, this

I wasn't particularly in the mood but the playing was spectacular.  This was a trio of flute, harp and viola.  Mmm, a strange combo.  The music was all of a muchness, sounding of birds or the like, definitely of an era, and they played a string of solo and duo pieces as well as a few with this rare combination.  And nothing much that I recognised other than the solo harp playing Claire de Lune.  Amusingly, I'd heard another Claire de Lune recently and it wasn't this famous Debussy.  I felt I could just touch on understanding technique on the harp and it was impressive, especially some brilliant tapping that produced huge, rich tones.  The viola was close enough to my bass so I could hugely admire the harmonics and bowing and rapid passages and dream of being able to play such a range without much fingerboard movement.  The flute was totally a blur to me but a very capable flute-playing friend was mightily impressed, so it was good.  The whole was tight and well integrated if Debuss(y)-esque.   Megan is far more classical/romantic than me but she was coming around to the style.  Interestingly, there was a casual invitation to composers in the audience to write for this format, just to confirm the repertoire was limited.  Even the solos were mostly of the mid-century nature themes (Flight, Garden of joy and sorrow, Blackbird, ...wind) but we did get a take on Telemann from solo viola and it was dazzling and had me wondering about how it would have been played in its days.  So, some fabulous playing from a visiting trio for unusual format in a consistent style.

Adam Walker (flute), Timothy Ridout (viola) and Annaleen Lenaerts (harp) performed for Musica Viva at Llewellyn Hall.

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