A recital for oboe and harp,
heard by MIKE WHEELER
The combination of oboe and harp may not be all that common, but James Turnbull and Victoria Davies (Derby Chamber Music, Multi-Faith Centre, Derby University, UK, 25 September 2009) showed how effective it can be.
In a wide-ranging programme, C P E Bach's G minor Solo for oboe and continuo, Wq 135, a three-movement sonata in effect, got crisp, alert playing, as did the two inner movements of Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango, ending the advertised part of the evening.
James Turnbull changed to cor anglais for Omaggio a Bellini by 'Paganini of the oboe' Antonino Pasculli, reverting to oboe for the haunting slow dance of Michael Berkeley's Second Still Life.
Each player contributed a solo piece. James Turnbull's account of Britten's Six Metamorphoses was a winning combination of expressive phrasing and sharp characterisation, while Victoria Davies brought energy and a vivid sense of colour to Marcel-Lucien Tournier's fourth set of Images.
For once, an encore added to, rather than detracting from, the evening. The hypnotic swaying of Ravel's Pièce en Forme d'Habanera had just the right sultry touch.
Copyright © 3 October 2009