Devotees of Inverurie Music were pleased that the club could finally meet together again for the first time in almost two years. The season began with the virtuosic playing of two young artists who have already won a number of prizes in the UK and abroad, the Maharaj-Degavino flute and piano duo. The audience were enthralled by the dexterity of both performers on their chosen instruments. IM clearly would like them to return in the not too distant future.
The recital began with a flute arrangement of a Bach Sonata (BWV 1034), which was played with the clarity demanded of Bach’s works. Meera took a more lyrical approach to this sonata than commonly engendered in the more tempered style of Bach’s music.
The Butterfly and The Stone, a short piece by Grace-Evangeline Mason was in total contrast, quite unusual and appealing. Unexpectedly the piano started it off and for the most part provided the butterfly’s role, bright and cheerful, expertly put across by Dominic, whereas the flute took a more sustained and sombre line.
Adoration by Florence Price was full of interest and quite markedly more in the classical than a romantic or modern manner. This was beautifully played, a charming short work in contrast to the many larger compositions of Florence.
Bringing on board a third female composer, the Concertino (Op. 107) by Cécile Chaminade was again another virtuosic piece, vigorous, powerful and demanding. A work seldom-heard, the duo’s rendition was excellent.
Borne’s flute arrangement of some of the familiar themes from the Carmen Fantasy by Bizet was interesting to hear, but does it work on the flute? Played with some full-bloodedness, the answer is yes, as these “excerpts” need this style of bold playing – thoroughly entertaining.
Finally the duo ended with a highly challenging arrangement of Franck’s A major sonata for violin and piano. Does the flute substitute well for the violin? It is a heavy work that does for the most part work well. The third movement was played with a sensitive touch that is in sharp contrast to the vigour of the second and final movements. There were several noticeable differences in the first and the last two movements between a violin and a flute performance. The flute has less range than the violin, and it can lack some warmth in tone, helped in the violin by the use of vibrato, its dynamic range and the individual sounds/atonations of the different strings. The sonata was played with considerable forcefulness by the piano at times and the flute penetrated strongly in response. A slightly quieter and relaxed approach might have helped in view of the acoustic of the church, but the duo no doubt played it in the way they wished. It was a tour-de-force, difficult in the extreme in parts. It was a performance that the audience loved, everyone leaving with big smiles on their faces – the sign of a very fine recital and one that few will forget; that’s what entertainment is all about.