A recital by Harriet Adie and Jessica Burroughs,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
The repertoire for cello and harp is obviously more extensive than I thought. French music looms large (the first half was exclusively devoted to it) but other composers have also realised the expressive potential of this combination.
Harriet Adie's crisp bright harp sound and Jessica Burroughs' rich, even cello tone make for a remarkable partnership, in which they respond readily to each other's playing. We witnessed this rapport at its most playful in the prima-donna rivalry of a Nocturne by Bellini (not the opera composer, another one). But it was evident throughout the evening, whether in the elegance of Damase's Sonata or the restrained passion of Rubbra's Discourse. Their verbal communications with the audience were a delight, too.
The two players also performed a solo piece each, Harriet Adie showing a firm command of harp sonorities and controlled dynamics in Marcel-Lucien Tournier's engaging Férie, and Jessica Burroughs offering a thoughtful, probing account of Edmund Rubbra's Improvisation.
The concert ended with the première of Harriet Adie's own Jewellery box. She is clearly a talented composer and this is an effective work which matched scale and expressive range. There was an intriguing Scottish flavour to 'Moonstone', while 'Diamond' ended the work in a torrent of driving energy.