Red Maids’ Performing Arts Centre
Saturday 11 November 2017
Rebecca Baulch is known to us not only as founder member, with Amanda Cook and Hayley Savage, of the celebrated Appassionata Trio, but in her role as tutor at West Dean guitar summer school and recently for the fascinating talk she gave us this year on staying ‘in the zone’ while playing in front of others. This evening we were delighted to host Rebecca with David Black, prize-winning guitarist, arranger and the other half of the Albach Duo.
The programme for this evening’s concert was varied: Ireland to Scotland and Wales, Italy to Argentina. From the outset, the set of Irish tunes showed the duo’s wonderful mastery of light and shade and of strikingly complex interaction. The nineteenth-century romantic style of Schubert’s Duo in A minor suited them very well, the combination of delicacy, fluency and high precision in the high-speed scale sections of the allegro a delight to listen to and see in an arrangement played by Bream and Williams, although never published. The pair of Scottish pieces, A Farewell to Stromness and Wild Mountain Thyme, are both audience favourites, and were treated by the duo with care and atmosphere in David’s own arrangements.
After the interval and a complementary glass of wine, the duo began with a large set of music: the four Scarlatti sonatas. Like Alexandre Lagoya’s arrangements of the first and second, Rebecca’s arrangements of the second pair gave them an admirable immediacy in both flow and melodic appeal, the duo again displaying very impressive individual and combined virtuosity. The same control and lyricism were present in the set of three folk songs from David’s home – simple melodies made interesting, and charming, for the guitar in Stephen Goss’s sometimes surprising arrangements.
For the final set of pieces, we travelled a long way geographically and stylistically to Argentina and the tango. The Piazzolla was rendered with beautiful atmospherics, effects and the characteristic energetic movement of the tango. David and Rebecca continued to demonstrate easy control of the full range of the guitar’s resources – tremolo, trills, tambora, harmonics – and lovely coordination and understanding of each other’s playing and of the music.
We were treated to an encore of Abel Fleury’s Milonga del Ayer to round of an evening of
great programming, exceptional playing, and the company of two charming and engaging people.
Nick Regan November 2017
Traditional Irish folk songs (arr. Robin Hill)
Lark in the Morning
She Moves Through the Fair
Duo in a minor Franz Schubert (arr. J. Bream)
A setting of the G minor Quartet Op. Posth. D173
Allegro con brio
Farewell to Stromness Peter Maxwell Davis
Wild Mountain Thyme (arr. David Black)
Traditional Scottish folk song
Sonata K.159 D major (arr. Lagoya) Domenico Scarlatti
Sonata K.173 D minor (arr. Lagoya)
Sonata K.13 G major (arr. Baulch)
Sonata K.162 E major (arr. Baulch)
Traditional Welsh folk songs (arr. Stephen Goss)
Dafyddd y garreg wen
Lliw gwyn rhosyn yr haf
Lo que vendrá (arr. Austell-Estrada) Astor Piazzolla
Adiós niño (arr. Baulch) Astor Piazzolla
Milonga Jorge Cardozo
Taquito militar (arr. Coulthard) Mariano Mores
Milongueo del ayer Abel Fleury