review of ‘Cuillin Sound’ on Thursday 18th June in the Hayward Theatre, Ely, Cambs. UK

Cuillin Sound is a fine group of woodwind players: Dana Morgan (flute), Sarah Watts (clarinet) and Laurence Perkins (bassoon). In their concert in the Hayward Theatre on Thursday night this highly talented trio played with phenomenal virtuosic skill, their notes clearly sounded and particularly well articulated no matter how rapid the pace. The impressive programme was enhanced by the different varieties of flute and clarinet that Dana and Sarah introduced.

The Cuillin is a range of mountains on the Isle of Skye in Scotland and the ensemble created some wonderful expressive sounds to reflect this connection. One of the highlights of their concert was ‘Da Day Dawns’, arranged by the bassoonist, Laurence Perkins. As evocative tones of a traditional Shetland melody floated above it was easy to imagine the gentle rays of the sun revealing themselves at the winter solstice. The jigging tune that followed was a indeed a memorable frolic in traditional style.

Other works we enjoyed included:  ‘Trio Sonata’ BVW 1038 by J.S. Bach, ‘Trio’ by Kasper Kummer, ‘Celtic Knot’ by Edward McGuire, ‘La Follia’, arranged by Laurence Perkins, ‘Syzgy’ by David Bennett Thomas and ‘Passacaglia’ by G.F. Handel.

The final Presto of Bach’s Trio Sonata was particularly exciting, with moments when the bassoon came onto its own, while the specially selected flute and clarinet helped create a realistic Baroque sound. Kummer’s ‘Trio’ had some highly effective conversational moments as the instruments reflected the natural flow of dialogue with empathy.  Deliciously mellow sounds were created in ‘La Follia’, in ‘Syzygy’ each instrument explored its tonal qualities effectively, while in ‘Passacaglia’, the variations were well-defined and their imaginative quality enhanced particularly well by these amazing performers.

This was a wonderful event. The well deserved encore featured a delightful, light-hearted traditional melody from St. Kilda.

The next Concert Society event to enjoy is on Friday 18th September when the Fujita Piano Trio will be performing at 7.30 in the Hayward Theatre. For tickets contact Sophie Collier (01353) 653931 sophiecollier@kingsely.orgCuillin Sound KSE Concer Series Y email

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