The recorder is a much maligned instrument. In the hands of a highly accomplished musician the tremendous versatility and skill required to play this instrument well soon become clear. This was certainly the case with the performance on February 23rd by Kate Hearne in the Recital Hall at the Hayward Theatre in Ely. In her hands, the virtuosic embellishments, dramatic declarations and sustained beauty of the instruments were mesmerising. With unerring ease, Kate switched from alto (treble) recorder, to voice flute (tenor) or soprano (descant) recorders to suit the different tonal requirements of the pieces.
Joseph McHardy accompanied her with a firm harmonic foundation from the harpsichord. His secure articulation, expressive melodic development and rhythmic dynamism complemented the recorders exactly.
The programme contained much diversity with the traditional composers such as Handel, Telemann and Mancini were present along with an appealing selection of a variety of works including choice items inspired by Irish and Scottish folk music. The intriguing twists and turns in “Folies d’Espagne” by Marais were particularly appealing.
The full audience was a testament to an increasing appreciation of the tremendous accomplishment demanded of Baroque performers and these two highly competent performers rose to such demands perfectly.
The next concert in the King’s School Ely Concert Society Series will feature Judith Hall (flute) and Craig Ogden (guitar) on Friday 27th April, 7.30 pm. Contact: (01353) 653931.