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The 'Spring' Sonata may have been an ideal, seasonal choice, but it also displayed Miss Leader's fresh and radiant tone, rhythmic vitality and expressive focus which characterised the whole recital, and was especially shown in the poised and poetic slow movement. Gordon Back's clarity and classical precision rendered the contrasts of the textures, with interest at every turn, and momentum never slacked. The flowing rondo finale benefited from unanimous ensemble, and some deftly manoeuvred transitions into the recurring theme. Serena Leader's resilient, silvery tone at the highest register glowed.

Gordon Back
Gordon Back

In Debussy's Sonata which followed, the impressionistic character may have seemed two-dimensional at times, but there was plenty of variety of colour and attack, and the mercurial shifts in mood came across especially well, the lighter second movement again playfully etched.

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Copyright © 2 April 2007 Malcolm Miller, London UK

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