Kris Emmett & Gabrielle Lewis

Bon bons aplenty in Kris Emmett and Gabrielle Lewis’s lunchtime recital in Plymouth

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One of the nicest things about this year’s Lunchtime recital series is the diversity of instruments, musical genres and expertise on offer. It’s also been good to see that whereas some events appear more formal, others feel more casual – and something especially well-suited to a passing audience popping by for something to eat, or to catch up with friends afterwards.

Kris Emmett made sure that he had a sufficient number of well-known bonbons in his entertaining and laid-back programme, which always goes down well.

The Méditation from Thais, which opened the programme, is always a safe bet, even if the original version for violin can sound more expressive than this arrangement for flute, because of the long phrase-lengths, and the breathing involved.

The six short movements from Rutter’s less-well-known Suite Antique proved enjoyable, while Fauré’s Sicilienne is another crowd-favourite, Kris’s own reworking of Satie’s First Gymnopédie sat quite well on the flute, as did Saint-Saens’s Swan from Carnival of the Animals, even if the richness in timbre afforded by the cello in the original, wasn’t really matched here by the flute.

Clémence de Grandval’s attractive Valse Mélancolique provided an effective conclusion to a recital that was not without some little fluffs along the way, but which still allowed the music itself to emerge more or less unscathed, and with little detriment to the audience’s overall enjoyment.



(The Kris Emmett with Gabrielle Lewis lunchtime recital took place at the Minster Church of St Andrew, Plymouth on August 30, 2017.)

Philip Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip R Buttall was the Classical Music Writer at Plymouth Herald from 1997-2017. He is a sought-after piano teacher, composer and arranger, and online concert and CD reviewer. Further information and contact details are available at
Philip Buttall