Review: Hannah Roberts (‘cello) and Simon Parkin (piano) at the Hayward Theatre in Ely on Friday night 20th June 2014.

ImageHannah Roberts (‘cello) and Simon Parkin (piano) gave a splendid concert on Friday night in the Hayward Theatre as part of the King’s School Ely Concert Series. They played works by Beethoven, Fauré, Debussy, Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss. Fauré ‘s ‘Elegie, op 24’, a very well-known piece, was played on an instrument made by Robin Aitchison who was in the audience.

This duo played with potency, verve and excellent syncopation. Hannah brought out most beautiful rich sounds from her instruments while Simon exhibited tremendous technique and timing. These two were particularly good at maintaining a sense of excitement and anticipation, never missing an opportunity to vary the expression and build up the climaxes to tremendous heights.

In the opening Beethoven sonata the musicians were masters of surprise, highlighted the contrasting louds and softs. In this work, Simon’s meticulous articulation became immediately apparent.

Fauré’s popular ‘Élégie’ was as sonorous and melodious as hoped for.

Debussy’s Sonate contained expressive long phrases with many reminders of his unique transparent style in the piano part – the Submerged Cathedral, for example. Hannah gave a very good impression of a passionate guitarist in the second movement while in the final ‘Finale’ the performers set our souls free with their uninhibited involvement.

After interval, Mendelssohn’s ‘Variations Concertantes, Op 17’ were wonderful, the phrases cleanly executed and movement between notes in the ‘cello was particularly smooth and seamless.

The final ‘Sonata in F, op.6’ by Richard Strauss opened strongly with the varied demands of articulation within the phrases beautifully managed. The second movement, ‘Andante ma non troppo’, contained meaningful pensive moments with Simon bringing out key notes on the piano particularly well. The final ‘Allegro vivo’, was, indeed, lively while the ‘cello positively sang at times and the timing between the performers was beautifully synchronised, no matter how tricky the parts.

This was a wonderful concert. The next in the series will feature Dan Curzon (horn) and Elliot Launn (Piano) and will be on Friday 19th September in the Recital Hall, 1930.

Contact : tel (01353) 653931




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