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KTB Music Lunchtime Recital, Thursday 8th September, 2016

By KTB Music, Sep 9 2016 01:01PM

The afternoon began with a short but pleasant duet from Olivia Cooper and Katy Bradley, both playing flute. This first duet was a dance called Menuett, (German for Minuet) written by Haydn-Barge, and was a popular French rustic dance adapted by the courts in the 17th Century. The dance itself is characteristically made up of small, dainty steps which is where it gained the name Menuett.

This was followed by Katy Bradley playing the four movements of Bach’s Partita in A minor which has become a popular piece in modern performance repertoire. Each movement represents a different style. The Allemande represents the German style, (the Allemande is a German dance by name) and the Corrente represents the Italian style. The Sarabande reveals a French style whereas the Bourrée Angloise gestures towards the English style.

Next it was Olivia Cooper’s turn, but this time she took to the piano where she moved ably through the first movement of Beethoven’s Sonata in G (Op. 14 No. 2). Published in Vienna in 1799, the Sonata in G is dedicated to Baroness Josephine von Braun who was a fine pianist and music lover at a time when Beethoven was in great demand as both pianist and teacher. The mood of this piano sonata is upbeat and light-hearted; it has been described as “a glorious little comedy”.

Katy Bradley then played Comical Flute, one of Alan Bullard’s solo study pieces for flute. Bullard’s writing takes influence from an array of places: the complex harmonies and rhythms of jazz, the repeated figurations of minimalism, the shapely melodies of popular and folk-music: all of these have contributed to a musical style which is a unique blend of harmonic richness, rhythmic drive, imagination and sensitivity.

Following this was a stunning twist in the programme, in the form of the music from the film Titanic. Olivia Cooper performed Rose’s Theme beautifully, which is written for Kate Winslet’s character, Rose, whose fiery character is represented in the rousing shift to the minor key. This theme is also sung by Celine Dion in the main theme tune from the film Titanic, My Heart Will Go On.

Next there were two lighter pieces, again performed by Olivia Cooper on the flute and accompanied by Katy Bradley on the piano. The first, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, is a jazz standard that has been covered by many of the 20th and 21st Centuries top musicians and vocalists. It has been featured in many films over the years, but was originally written for the 1933 Broadway show, Roberta. The second, Keep Young And Beautiful, was a bouncy response to the sultry tones of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. Keep Young and Beautiful was one of Winston Churchill’s favourite songs; its cheeky pulse and dotted rhythms can pick you up on the bluest of days.

The recital was rounded off by a lively performance of the first duet from Johann Quantz’s Six Duets For Two Flutes. Taken from his Opus 2, Six Duets For Two Flutes is just one of the hundreds of compositions in Quantz’s catalogue. He was one of the first professional flautists in 18th Century Europe, and was also a prolific flute maker.

Overall, a grand afternoon was had by all, and the two performers succeeded in creating a lively, bouncy atmosphere or a mellow, thoughtful ambiance for our audience.

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