A recital by harpist Anneleen Lenaerts
impresses MIKE WHEELER
As a solo instrument the harp has something of an image problem, perceived as fairly limited in its expressive range. But as young Belgian harpist Anneleen Lenaerts, winner of the 2005 Lily Laskine Competition, showed (Darwin Suite, Assembly Rooms, Derby, UK, 22 September 2009), it can do so much more than the stereotypes would have us believe.
While the transcription of J S Bach's solo violin Chaconne missed some of its ruggedness, it was a performance that showed a grasp of the music's architecture; the transition to the major-key second half, in particular, was nicely judged.
In Britten's Suite for Harp Lenaerts brought out the dance impulse in the first movement, and gave deft, nimble accounts of the two quick movements.
The uncredited transcription of Smetana's Vltava worked better at some points than others. There was no wedding polka episode, and some parts were so re-worked as to part company with the original altogether.
Of the shorter pieces, Une Châtelaine en Sa Tour had all the old Fauré magic, while Granados' Spanish Dance No 5 got a rather gentle performance. Pierre Sancan's Theme and Variations showed just what an impressive range of colours Anneleen Lenaerts has at her command.
Copyright © 26 September 2009 Mike Wheeler,