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<<  -- 2 --  Roderic Dunnett    Sublimely sensual

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Three young performers swept the board. Matthews's Three Roman Miniatures (Virgil, the Emperor Hadrian and the tale of a swiftly devoured Actaeon) were premiered, alongside Thomas Hyde's recent piece The Saint and the Dove, by two buoyant 21-year-olds, clarinettist Catriona Scott and pianist Catherine Milledge -- a duo beyond praise.

Catriona Scott

Scott, already a match for Emma Johnson, has all one could want of a great soloist on the way : intelligence; spirit; charisma; precision; unshowiness; an abacus of different tones, which she can tweak in mid-note to furnish unexpected shadings; a gorgeous low register; and a wonderful afterglow. If two of Schumann's wistful Fantasiestücke felt just adrift of the optimum pacings, everything else Scott and Milledge played -- notably Malcolm Arnold's brilliantly quizzical, Benny Goodman-spirit Sonatina and four exquisite Dialogues by Antonín Tucapský, each beautifully conceived for the instrument -- was heaven. A knockout performer.

21-year-old Ben Hancox, a Junior Guildhall prizewinner, accompanied on a mellow Bösendorfer by Bulgarian Lora Dimitrova, featured Montana Taylor's Blues, David Matthews's tribute to the l930s jazz blues pianist, an offshoot of his Oboe Concerto.

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Copyright © 6 December 2001 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

 

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