Christopher Moore viola / violin
Prudence Davis flute
Yinuo Mu harp
Ibert Deux Interludes
Gubaidulina Garden of Joys and Sorrows
Tōru Takemitsu And then I knew ’twas wind
Debussy Sonata for flute, viola and harp
About the performance
A delicate balance.
The richness and complexity of the relationship between the flute, viola and harp is explored in this chamber concert of 20th century composers.
The exquisite combined sound of these three instruments has an intimacy, rich timbre and sonorous complexity that is both powerful and playful. It was something Claude Debussy knew, composing his sonata for flute, viola and harp in 1915. It is a stunning and supple piece, capable of long mournful phrases and sudden flights of movement.
Experimental Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina has a widely differing approach with her Garden of Joys and Sorrows, a piece that captures an otherworldly atmosphere through a series of musical flourishes, often at the limits of the instruments’ ranges. It is daring and strangely beautiful.
Frenchman Jacques Ibert was a composer who refused to tie himself to any one school of compositional thought, resulting in an eclectic output that refuses straight categorisation. His music was capable of frivolity, but also deep tenderness. Both can be heard in his Deux Interludes, composed in 1946.
And then I knew ’twas wind, by one of the 20th century’s most important Japanese composers, Tōru Takemitsu, is another striking argument for this combination of instruments. Delicate and intricate, it was influenced by the Debussy, but has wonderfully idiosyncratic signature of its own.