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An Impressive Partnership

A recital by Katherine Jenkinson and Alison Farr,
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER


Derby-born cellist Katherine Jenkinson was on home ground in this recital for Derby Chamber Music (Murray Park School, Mickleover, Derby, UK, 19 January 2007) with pianist Alison Farr, and what an impressive partnership they make. Jenkinson's supple phrasing and even tone -- rich and sonorous at the bottom of the instrument's range, clear but not unduly penetrating at the top -- are well matched by Parr's alert, nimble pianism.

Katherine Jenkinson
Katherine Jenkinson

In a change to the advertised programme they began with a Sonata in G by Giovanni Battista Sammartini. Their playing was both lively and elegant in the outer movements, though it was possible to feel that the central Grave was over-romanticised.

Shostakovich's Cello Sonata was given a performance of great power and authority, with admirable poise in the curiously Fauré-like opening, and building weight and momentum as the work proceeded. The largo third movement had concentration, and they allowed the studied insouciance of the finale's opening to throw the savage energy at the heart of the movement into relief without the need for overt histrionics.

They found a wide range of colours in Beethoven's Op 69 Sonata, balancing the forceful and the mysterious in the first movement, and bringing a winning combination of thoughtfulness and nimbleness to the finale. Farr's fingerwork was not always secure, but she was a consistently imaginative and responsive partner to Jenkinson's generously expressive playing. The pungent vitality and the moodiness of Piazzolla's Le grand tango were explored with equal panache.

Alison Farr
Alison Farr

The restraint and elegance of their encore, a transcription of Debussy's song Beau Soir, was exactly what was needed after the power and drive of the rest of the programme.

Copyright © 24 January 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK




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