Friday, 11 April 2014

Dragonfly Ensemble

I never could resist a good harp solo!
So last night I was at Booths Bookshop for a sell out performance by Dragonfly Ensemble, which consists of violinist Marcia Crayford, viola player Susie Mészáros, flautist Sarah Newbold and harpist Katherine Thomas. All of them have had really impressive musical careers - the violinist used to lead the London Symphony Orchestra, for instance! - and the music they make together is sublime!
It was also a very relaxed evening. They started with a piece by Dubois for flute, viola and harp, and the second piece was going to be by Ravel - but they said that Dubois hadn't liked Ravel, so instead there was Bach on the harp followed by Mozart for violin and viola, and they finished up with tangos by Piazzolla, an Argentinian composer who had been influenced by jazz musicians. So there was a wide range of musical styles.

After the interval, they started with three pieces by Elgar for violin and harp. The next piece was Saint-Saens - his only work for harp (though he had included harp music in his operas apparently), which he had written in Italy for two sisters.
They finished the evening with a piece by Debussy which was written in 1915 - the year the tank was invented, and gas was used in the trenches (and Pyrex was invented!). Debussy was trying to compose music that harked back to a more innocent, pastoral idyll, though the lady who introduced the piece said she could still hear the sounds of modern life in it, like trams speeding past.
I don't think I'd heard any of the music before apart from some of the Elgar, and it really was wonderful - next time I go into a music shop, I'll be looking for more by those composers.

The organiser thanked an organisation called Night Out, which gives grants for concerts, and is something to do with the Welsh Assembly, for providing help to put this concert on.

There will be more concerts throughout the year - the next one is the Tre Voci Cello Trio on 5th May. On 1st July there will be a wind quintet from Welsh National Opera, and they will be playing the first concert to be held at Hay Castle. "It'll be like a mini-Glyndebourne," he said.

Dragonfly Ensemble will be playing again on 16th April at St Michael's Church Discoed, but with a second violin played by Lowri Porter, and a cello played by Moray Walsh, for Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dragonfly are also performing The Seven Last Words of Christ by Haydn with readings from Michael Dennis Browne's Seven Last Voices in Llanfilo Church (LD3 0RE) next Thursday (17th)at 7pm. Tickets are £8 on the door and this concert is also supported by the Night Out scheme