City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Clarinet and Piano at Concerts at the University, City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, Review

By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 17 February 2016

Calum Robertson 02.
Show Details
Concerts at the University Series
Tomasi, Nocturne; Challan, Flirt; Loucheur, Volière; Noël-Gallon,  Cantabile;  E.P. Stekel, Polichinelle; Howells, A Near Minuet; Howells, Sonata; Français, Theme and Variations.
Calum Robertson (clarinet) and John Bryden (piano)
Running time: 

There was a large audience for Tuesday’s Concerts at the University series keen to hear some serious clarinet music. Whilst most will have heard of composer Herbert Howells, fewer will have known much about Fernard Oubradous (1903-1986). He was a French bassoonist whose collected short characterful works under the title Recueil-Recital ‘La Clarinet’ gave Calum Robertson his chance to demonstrate a broad range. Henri Tomasi’s grim Nocturne was followed by Rene Challan’s lighter Flirt and Raymond Loucheur's higher Voliere. Noël-Gallon’s Cantabile produced a lovely melody and Eric-Paul Stekel’s Polichinelle reminded us of puppetry.

A Near-Minuet introduced us to Herbert Howells but the tour de force of the concert for both clarinet and John Bryden’s piano was Howell’s Sonata written for Frederick Thurston in 1946. Whilst my eyes were focused on Calum, the pianist and even one as a distinguished as John Bryden could be seen concentrating very hard on the music in front of him. As it finished their joy at pulling it off together showed on their two very happy faces. It was infectious, the audience loved it.

And for good measure the concert finished with what was written as a test piece for the Paris Conservatoire by Jean Francaix (1912-1997) but was full of mischief in the hearing.

A great concert from two true professionals - enhanced no end by a short sales pitch by Calum tempting us to buy CD’s on our way out. It makes such a difference to a concert to hear a few words from performers.

Performance: Tuesday 16th February 2016 at 1.10pm