Spot-on performances as duo capture the moods
BOTH the artists at today's lunchtime recital are regularly involved with the music in the cathedral with Alexei singing as a lay clerk in the choir whilst Mark has been director of music since 1998.
The programme consisted of two contrasting Lieder, one tuneful 19th century work by Robert Schumann, the other, Winter Words, a rather more difficult piece by Benjamin Britten written in 1954.
Schumann's Dichterliebe uses 16 poems by Heinrich Heine.
This particular story concerns a sorrowful knight who sits at home all day but is visited by his fairy bride at night and dances with her until daylight when he finds himself back in his room.
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He is full of hope in the beginning but the whole affair turns out to be an illusion and it all ends sadly.
The different moods are expressed cleverly by the composer – the carefree No 3 with its simple melody, No 8 with its touching vision of nature, whilst the last three depict the more miserable side with the piano adding to the gloom. Alex captured the various moods very successfully and was brilliantly supported by Mark.
As it is the centenary of Benjamin Britten's birth this year most of his music is going to be played somewhere. Written in 1953 for Peter Pears, his Winter Words was produced between the two operas Gloriana and The Turn of the Screw. It sets to music eight poems by Thomas Hardy which cover many aspects and sounds of life such as a boy's boredom on a long train ride, the creak of an old table and the more serious life hereafter.
Once again the duo gave a spot-on performance.