Madeleine Mitchell, Andrew Ball, Norwich
FRANK CLIFF Violinist Madeleine Mitchell and pianist Andrew Ball are a duo of great distinction their recital proved.
Violinist Madeleine Mitchell and pianist Andrew Ball are a duo of great distinction as Sunday afternoon's recital at the John Innes Centre proved.
It continued the theme of this series of English chamber music with a dash of French; in this case Debussy's violin sonata, which was preceded by the sonata in B major of Delius.
This is a lyrical work in three movements – immediately attractive, yet one which seems somewhat overblown for what it has to say. Only the middle movement seems to encapsulate Delius's distinctive voice, even though the writing for both instruments is effective.
Debussy's sonata, also in three movements, lasts a little over half the time of the Delius, yet says infinitely more with infinitely greater effect. Both works were performed beautifully with the greatest musical intelligence and attention to detail, Madeleine Mitchell's warm yet refined sound seeming absolutely right for Debussy's intricate writing.
Finally the Elgar violin sonata; like the string quartet a late work. This was an excellent reading and most inspired I thought in the second movement which seems, in ways I cannot immediately explain, to be the quintessence of Elgar. An excellent recital by a beautifully balanced duo.