Although the forecast balmy weather hadn’t materialised, there were more than enough pyrotechnics allied to a gloriously warm tone to ensure the heat was well and truly turned on throughout this very enjoyable and varied recital of music inspired by the Mediterranean, and from composers in its vicinity.
Pierre-Emmanuel Largeron made an impressive start with Paganini’s well-known 24th Caprice for solo violin, followed by two works from the Italian Baroque – Vivaldi’s A minor Concerto, and Geminiani’s Sonata in C minor – where his impeccable delivery, complemented by Daniel King Smith’s sympathetic support at the piano, caught the style to perfection.
Pierre is equally at home in slower music where a rich and expressive tone is demanded, such as Elgar’s Salut d’Amour, and a particularly heartfelt reading of Massenet’s Méditation from Thaïs.
Described in the programme as a loose arrangement of the Drinking Song from Verdi’s La Traviata, this did seem somewhat quirky at times, and a tad less satisfying than the rest of the programme overall.
Daniel gave a more than proficient rendition of Bax’s Mediterranean for solo piano, while rather confirming why the composer subsequently produced an additional version for orchestra.
Piano and violin nicely captured the sultry nature of Ravel’s Pièce en forme de Habanera, with Sarasate’s Homage to Rossini providing a real virtuoso close to the evening, and which Pierre certainly despatched with real panache.
PHILIP R BUTTALL