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Laurette Pope and Lowri Porter

PUBLISHED: 09:00 12 June 2006 | UPDATED: 15:43 22 October 2010

All Saints Church, Welborne

All Saints Church, Welborne

It's fair to say a midsummer night's dream came prematurely true at this cracking concert, held on Saturday as part of Welborne Arts Festival.

In the evening stillness that followed a blistering hot day, exquisite sounds flowed like a cooling mountain stream through the flower-bedecked nave of All Saints', courtesy of two accomplished performers.

Harp and violin go together like fine claret and mature Stilton, but, as was evident here, this musical blend manifests itself in oh so many ways.

The programme, thoughtful at times, shamelessly romantic in others but surprisingly jaunty in its lighter moments, brought out the very subtlest nuances of both instruments.

And the players introduced an appreciative audience to lesser-known works by composers as diverse as Jacques Ibert, influenced on this occasion by lusty Iberian rhythms, and the German violinist Louis Spohr, whose charming Sonata Concertante, performed as the opening item, was simply a foretaste of the quality to come.

Laurette Pope is a harpist very much at ease with her instrument. Bewitching melodies, performed with an enviable silken touch, and thrilling harmonics came aplenty. Of the many works that gave her the opportunity to shine, Saint-Saens's extraordinary Fantaisie was the most integrally satisfying.

Violinist Lowri Porter wielded her bow with robust spirit and expression, whether addressing Massenet's Meditation, from Thais, or a fiendishly complex composition by Bach.

Just occasionally the duo became a trio, joined by eventide birdsong through the open church door. You couldn't have asked for more.


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