Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 6 May 2015

A seductive performance amid the splendour of Clandeboye

An impressive line-up of musicians opened the ninth Clandeboye Festival last night.

Each year artistic director Barry Douglas invites a number of the same performers of international calibre to the unusual atmosphere and slightly awkward courtyard venue in Lady Dufferin's fine estate.

The intimacy of performing here lends itself to chamber music and Beethoven's rarely heard Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano was a perfect entrée.

It introduced Irish pianist Sophie Cashell as a newcomer to the festival. Despite her relative youth, she was more than a match for the mature sounds and musical thoughts of her two companions, and she was impressive in her shaping of the second movement in particular of this lively and often humorous trio.

One of the many attractions of the Clandeboye Festival is its quirky programming.

In another context it may perhaps be unworkable but here the juxtaposition and combination of the unexpected adds spice for those who can appreciate it.

So after the Beethoven, the darker hues of Schubert's Fantasy for Four Hands paired maestro Douglas with Ms Cashell in a stylish and well paced performance.

Another infrequently deployed piece, Mahler's short, single surviving movement of his Quartet for Piano and Strings drew romantically upon the heady richness of the late nineteenth century's musical language. From where I sat in front of the piano, the dramatic intensity of the writing and the musical interplay was almost palpable.

Brahms' Clarinet Quintet has been described as a summation of the composer's life and it was its appropriately autumnal but perhaps rather raw strains on this occasion which, suffering inevitably from an imperfectly balanced ensemble, ended this first night concert.

RATHCOL

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Taurus:

An opportunity to expand your horizons is too good to ignore. Studying or travelling abroad will keep you far from home, but absence will make the heart grow fonder. If you have a beloved pet, make arrangements to travel with your companion. Don't let small inconveniences keep you from exploring new vistas. Have you been yearning to write a book? Begin now, while you have some stellar cosmic energy at your back. Great things can happen if you take a risk.More