Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Clarinet Recital: Matthew Reid & Pieter van Zyl

Review:Concert –
28 Oct. 2009

The audience – sadly smaller than one would have hoped – was treated to a wonderful recital by two skilled musicians, Matthew Reid, clarinet and Pieter van Zyl; piano. Rather cleverly, they opened their programme with the theme from the film ‘The Mission’ and the familiar bitter-sweet melody immediately won over the audience.

The rest of the first half included a movement from Beethoven’s Violin Sonata op. 24 nicknamed ‘Spring’ and transcribed for clarinet. The beautiful theme and the interchange between the two instruments were special features that highlighted the feel that each player had for the music – something that pervaded all their playing. A movement from the Brahms Clarinet Sonata No 2 in E flat followed and its dreamy, musing, song-like quality was a feature captured by both players. A shift from nineteenth century music to the twentieth century included the more strident clarinet sonata by Poulenc which gave the first half a nice balance.

The second half featured music of an altogether different character with romantic music by Fritz Kreisler, exciting Balkan gypsy music and three examples of Benny Goodman swing.

Apart from the music, the evening was made all the more appealing by the warm and unassuming way in which the artists engaged with the audience and they were finally congratulated with enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation. It was a pleasure listening to them so thanks to the artists and congratulations to the Stilbaai Music Society for mounting an evening of worthwhile chamber music.

John Stonier 29 October 2009

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