Laura Piras and William Fergusson

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Assembly House, Norwich


In this Music At One recital the flautist, Laura Piras, and her fluent accompanist, William Fergusson, presented an interesting and attractive programme, though it was quite different from what had been advertised.

Works from three centuries offered a variety of styles, showing the character and qualities of the solo instrument that has always had its following.

Good humour was a striking feature of a Flute Concerto in D. Whether or not Haydn should be credited with the composition, the manner spoke of the language of his time, in themes that were jolly, not to say cheeky.

The slow movement was reflective, if not profound, and the finale promptly set about restoring high spirits.

Piras could not resist the challenge of the cadenzas that had been added by Herman Zanke, though he did not really enhance what had gone before.

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Franz Doppler too designed his Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy as a showpiece. Its technicalities were, however, put to good use in bringing out national sentiment.

After sensuous falling lines came a more hearty episode, full of rhythmic buoyancy and with more than a hint of folk dance.

The pianist, whose role had so far been largely secondary, enjoyed a larger part in the American Eldin Burton's Sonatina of 1948. At the start, he created a shimmering background while the flute line was traced above. After vital elegance and poise in this balanced second movement, the third, with its repeated figures, fairly hustled along.