James Boyd, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Three influences stood sponsor to this recital: John Dowland, the great Elizabethan lutenist, Andres Segovia, the Spanish virtuoso, and Julian Bream, his post-war successor.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Three influences stood sponsor to this recital: John Dowland, the great Elizabethan lutenist, Andres Segovia, the Spanish virtuoso, and Julian Bream, his post-war successor.

Fittingly James Boyd began with Dowland. The Earl of Essex's Galliard had ingratiating charm and a dancing rhythm that was all the more attractive for never being emphasised too heavily. More in similar style would have been welcome but the programme insisted that we must turn to more solid fare.

Alan Rawsthorne's Elegy lived up to its title. There was a more lively middle episode, but it was flanked by lengthy movements in thoughtful, not to say melancholic, vein. Selecting just three of the sections of William Walton's Bagatelles, the soloist was able to remind us of this composer's readiness to explore popular styles.

Very quietly Boyd gave a particularly convincing account of Nocturnal After Dowland. Expressing abiding aspects of Benjamin Britten's mentality, its variations also revealed both his musical methods and his ability to realise the potentialities of the guitar.

t James Boyd was performing at the Assembly House.

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