Pianist, Flutist Team Up for Concert
The 20th century Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden once said, "A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become."
Such was the nature of the May 9 recital of flutist Lindsay Leach and pianist Philip Richardson, which, to the delight of the audience, became an immediate and amazing display of musicianship and technique.
This was one concert in a series of recitals from April 27 through May 12 that were sponsored by a regional artist grant from the Cumberland County Arts Council and the Arts Council of Moore County.
Richardson and Leach began their recital at Brownson Presbyterian Church with French composer Charles-Marie Widor's "Suite for Flute and Piano, Op. 34," followed by the "Sonatine for Flute and Piano" by Henri Dutilleux. While the Widor "Suite" captured the romantic flare and bravura of the composer's organ compositions, the Dutilleux "Sonatine" reflected a more subtle, impressionistic character much like Ravel or Debussy. Richardson and Leach executed the disparate styles of each piece with equal adeptness and attention to tone color, rubato, and musical detail.
Next on the duo's program was the "Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano" by Czech composer and violinist, Bohuslav Martinu. Martinu grew up in Policka, the son of the town bell ringer and watchman. Although his "Sonata No. 1 for Flute and Piano" was written in 1945 after his move to America, its rhythmically complex movements suggested images of Bohuslav's childhood in a bell tower with percussive bell-like chords in the piano score as well as echoes of delicate American bird song in the flute.
The musicians concluded the recital with another "Sonatine for Flute and Piano" by Walter Gieseking. Gieseking, the son of German-born parents who grew up in Italy and France, began his piano studies at age four and gained renown for his photographic memory and ability to sight-read. The "Sonatine," which was his only composition for flute and piano, utilized the entire register of the flute and was replete with extensive demanding technical sections in the piano. Leach's performance brought both warmth to the dark, lower register of the flute and fullness to the singing upper register, while Richardson maneuvered through the piano passages with deftness and sensitivity.
A highly recommended CD of the pair's recital will be available this fall. Those who would like ordering information may visit www.LALflute.com for more details.
Karen Lewis, orchestra director of West Pine Middle School, is also a violinist with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra.
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