Belfast Telegraph

Clandeboye Festival: Recital leaves lasting impression

By Terry Blain

Much imagination has gone into programming the lunchtime concerts at this year's Clandeboye Festival, and this recital was no exception.

Mozart is, of course, hardly unfamiliar, but was represented on this occasion by the rarely heard Duo No 1 for Violin and Viola.

Finnish violinist Elina Vahala, who has made such a striking impression in this week's music-making, took the top line in a winningly elegant and quick-witted performance, with violist Paul Neubauer as her partner.

Neubauer's nutty tone and fastidious articulation were particular points of pleasure, as was a sweetly sung account of the brief Adagio movement.

Vahala and Neubauer featured again three items later in Embraceable Duo, an affectionate treatment of a Gershwin song by American composer Paul Chihara.

The clarinet of Michel Lethiec was the common denominator in three pieces.

A duo for clarinet and cello (originally bassoon) by Beethoven followed, its bubbling affability garrulously communicated by Lethiec and Andrés Díaz.

Which left Jean-Baptiste Barrière's Sonata for two Cellos, whose refined manners and courtly elegance occasionally concealed deeper emotions.

The dashing passage-work of the finale required the extreme slight of hand of Andrés Díaz and former Clandeboye Young Musician Sinead O'Halloran, and both had it.

Four stars

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