In association with the North East Scotland Classical Guitar Society, Inverurie Music presented a Sunday afternoon concert last week (12th January 2020) at the Acorn Centre with the JKL duo. This was the delightful blend of music from Kerry Lynch (flute) and Jacopo Lazzaretti (guitar), who met at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The effortless delivery of the programme spoke of the quality of their musical partnership, whose natural rapport took the audience to their hearts.
The first half of the programme comprised a pot-pourri of miniatures that showed off the duo’s versatility and mastery of contrasting styles.
‘John Anderson my Jo’ was a tribute to the artistry of Robert Burns, who, in two verses, transformed a bawdy ballad into a woman’s love song of depth and honesty. Her husband’s aging features are her tokens for a lasting relationship, while the metaphor for their life together is a hillside walk to the summit and after the descent, a rest together at life’s end. In a subtle arrangement, the guitar gently harmonised the flute that shaped the plaintive melody.
The pieces by the celebrated Brazilian guitarist, Cielso Machado, contrasted brilliantly. The ‘Musiques Populaires Bresiliennes’ for guitar and flute were introduced with a catchy bossanova knock on the guitar. The interplay of the flute with its luscious swirls and rhythmic partnership of the guitar made this easy music to sway and dance to.
Jacopo shifted to a dignified pace with four Scottish lute pieces, which were fine Renaissance examples. At that time, some accomplishment in music was expected from every gentleman, whether Scottish or not. The lute was so popular that one was often hung up in barber’s shops so that customers could entertain each other while waiting. There is no sign of Glasgow barbers cashing in on this idea today, despite the proximity of the Royal Conservatoire!
The duo rounded off the first half with pieces by Poulenc, Honegger and Debussy. French composers of the 20th Century have a salient influence on the flute repertoire; so much so that a flute recital is scarcely complete without them. Confidently using the expressive qualities of the flute to the full, Kerry skilfully breathed out the phrases. Those of unusual tonality were both exciting and convincing.
In the second half of the programme the duo performed the tango music of Piazzolla with three parts of his ‘History of Tango.’ The tango was a dance that found a home in Argentina and developed into a dance craze that spread to Europe in the 1920’s and 30’s. Piazzolla developed the form further with variations on a ground bass, elements of counterpoint and improvisation. His music, the “nuevo tango” has maintained the tango’s popularity among today’s audiences.
Sunday afternoon’s audience was no exception and the enjoyment of the duo in their playing was reciprocated by the audience’s appreciation. The JKL duo’s performance was flawless, moving and an expression of joy.
20th January 2020