A pianist from round the corner and a flautist from Budapest proved the perfect combination at a pre-Guy Fawkes concert in Rye Church on the evening of Saturday, November 4. Anne Marshall (piano) who lives in Rye and Zsuzsa Vamosi-Nagy (flute) introduced the works themselves, favourites from a series of concerts they have been performing in various venues. The Carl Fruhling Fantaisie with which they began belied by its delightful musicality the sadness of the composer’s life: he was a Ukrainian Jew, who needed to take great care in his adopted country of Germany, where Nazism was in the ascendant and much of his music was destroyed. He died in 1937, before war broke out with Germany’s invasion of Poland.
The succeeding work, Dvorak’s Romance Opus 11, put all clouds to flight with its beauty, which was fully realised by the musicians. Next came a mesmeric work by a composer I’d never heard of, Ian Clarke, born in 1964 and especially interested in the flute. His Hypnosis proved intriguing and the opposite of soporific. Anne and Zsuzsa closed their first half with a flute and piano transcription of the scherzo from Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream: utterly enchanting.
The post-interval section of the concert began with solo playing, with Anne first giving a most poetic account of Debussy’s two contrasting Arabesques which are fitting successors to Schumann’s uniquely beautiful predecessor. Next, Ian Clarke’s joyously speedy The Great Train Race gave Zsuzsa the opportunity to demonstrate her astonishing ability to play musically while exercising the most remarkable breath control. Carl Reinecke’s Sonata Undine Opus 167 for flute and piano concluded the evening and tells the story of the Little Mermaid in four musical movements, distinguished by their contrasting qualities.
This gave the players a further opportunity to show not only their musical understanding but also the closeness of their performing partnership, which impressed all lucky enough to be present for this splendid event, which not only enchanted and entertained but also brought to notice a number of less well-known known works and composers.
For details of more music of the highest quality contact: Membership Secretary, Brickwall Music and Arts Society on 01797 225822.
Photos: courtesy of the artists