This interesting combination of instruments performed at the City’s Assembly Room to a full house in a largely Franco-Belgian programme.
Flautist Rosanna Ter-Berg and harpist Olivia Jageurs provided the nucleus of the ensemble, with the addition of a string trio in many of the works.
The key work in the programme was the Sonata for Flute, Harp and Viola by Claude Debussy. The violist Kay Stephen provided a rich string sound to accompany the flute and harp, and all three players gave of their best. The accuracy and the quality of ensemble playing was impressive and it was a moving performance of this seminal work.
The other two string players Gemma Sharples [violin] and Anna Menzies [cello] made up the group into a quintet performing works by Marcel Tournier, André Jolivet and Joseph Jongen. After a shaky start with the Tournier, the group warmed up in the remarkable atonal quintet by Jolivet which included some real virtuoso playing by the flautist and harpist.
A wonderful contrast to the quintets in the first half of the programme, was provided by Mozart’s C major Flute Quartet played sensitively by the string trio with the flute. The contrast in the second half was a String Trio by Gerald Finzi “Prelude and Fugue in A minor” which deserves to be better known.
The concert ended with a quintet by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen entitled “Concerto à Cinq”. This composition also deserves to be better known and Rosanna Ter-Berg and Olivia Jageurs are to be congratulated for creating such an interesting programme from such a limited repertoire for this type of instrumental group.
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