Alison Nicholls and Lucy Wakeford, Bury

JO GREEN Hengrave Hall was the perfect backdrop for an enchanting evening of harp music brought to us by two world class musicians.

JO GREEN

Hengrave Hall was the perfect backdrop for an enchanting evening of harp music brought to us by two world class musicians.

Alison Nicholls and Lucy Wakeford met as youngsters in the National Youth Orchestra and although both have gone on to carve out solo careers they still come together occasionally to play.

When they do, they mix traditional favourites with more contemporary music to devastating effect. From the first, theirs was a faultless performance and through the two- hour concert you could hear a pin drop when they took to the stage. Anyone who ever thought harp music was old fashioned would have eaten their words after this. This is vivid, bold music with attitude and real oomph.


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We began in familiar territory – Debussy's Clair de Lune before moving on to Ravel's Mother Goose. But then the light mood was replaced by something darker and demanding. Britten's Suite for Harp played with obvious relish as a solo by Lucy Wakeford, the duo ending the first half confidently with a gorgeous Prelude, Fugue and Variation of Cesar Franck. After that the second half sped by switching from Satie's Gymnopedie to the energetic Spanish Dances of Enrique Granados.

This was a feast of music where the performers swept all before them with their enthusiasm and skills, a delight from start to finish.

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