Music by Fauré, Bax, Poulenc, Vaughan Williams, Dutilleux and Reinecke
Suite de Ballet
The flute and piano recital on Friday 12th May must surely have been another of our very best concerts. Once local boy, flautist Gareth Davies partnered by Tim Carey at the Bechstein, produced a stunning programme of French, English, and German composers including several favourites from the flute repertoire. These two performers, have most impressive pedigrees, have worked together on many occasions, and can readily be seen on the internet.
Ideally suited for the flute, the chosen pieces contrived to emanate an aura of romance and impressionism throughout the evening to the obvious delight of the very large audience of almost ninety people.
Although apparently not greatly liked by the composer, Faure`s well known two movement "Fantasie" written in 1888 with its lilting beginning followed by a jolly second part with running and dextrous finger work, got the evening going in a typically French style.
Four short pieces by Arnold Bax entitled "Shadow Dance"," Princess Dance", "Nyad",and "Grotesque" conveyed the right atmosphere with lyrical, and rhythmic evocative impressions ably portrayed.
Returning to French picturesque writing, the three movement Flute and Piano Sonata of Francis Poulenc must be one of every musical person`s favourite pieces. It simply oozes Gallic charm in every bar from the beginning`s saucy little figure woven with a lyrical melody shared between flute and piano, to an exciting, lively and vibrant outer movement, and with a slow stately `Cantilena` section in between. Marvelously conjured up and played similarly !!
After the interval, Vaughan William`s "Suite de Ballet" of four short pieces comprising an improvisation, two Irish Gig type sections and a straight forward Gavotte, preceded Henri Dutilleux`s Sonatine for flute and piano. Written in 1943, this latter, is again captivating French music. Three continuous movements separated by cadenzas, cover a gamut of emotions and styles, from mystery with unusual 7/8 time at the outset, to a furious and exciting end.
Finally, another Sonata, Carl Reinecke`s op.167 entitled "Undine". This is highly romantic "Programme Music" first published in 1882 based on a German folktale about a mischievous water nymph Undine, and describes in music some of the nefarious effects that she had had on the lives of the unfortunate beings on whom she cast her spell. Of particular note is the beautiful third movement which is a tender and moving love song coming before the highly agitated and passionate finale.
To round off this splendid concert played by two superb artists, we heard an arrangement of " Princess Maya`s Tune" from Star Wars with which Gareth Davies has been extensively involved.
Last but by no means least it was very gratifying to find that Gareth is also among the number of our visiting artists who can establish a good rapport with our audiences by talking about their music and composers in a highly interesting and amusing way. It undoubtedly makes an enormous difference to the enjoyment of the occasion.
Gareth Davies is one of the flautists of his generation. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Shortly after graduating, he was appointed Principal flute in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the age of 23. During his time on the south coast, he recorded the Nielsen concerto with the orchestra. In 2000, Gareth was invited to become Principal flute with the London Symphony Orchestra where he has remained ever since. During his time there, he has played and recorded with many of the great conductors including Gergiev, Sir Colin Davis, Haitink, Previn, Jansons, Rostropovich and Boulez. A recording of a concerto by Karl Jenkins, written especially for him is available on EMI. He can be heard on many LSO Live recordings including Daphnis and Chloe and Prelude a l’apres midi conducted by Valery Gergiev, as well as many film soundtracks including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Rise of the Guardians and the Twilight saga.
As well as performing, Gareth is in demand as a teacher and regularly coaches woodwind students at the London music colleges as well as giving masterclasses in London, New York, Tokyo and Beijing. Every four years, he is one of the directors of the LSO Woodwind Academy, an orchestral training programme for exceptional students. As part of the LSO Discovery scheme, he also works in schools in the East London Boroughs, working with young students from anything to composition, improvisation to flute performance. This culminated recently with a performance with these young people in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics to a worldwide television audience of 4 billion people.
Gareth also works as a writer and presenter. He regularly writes for the LSO and also for BBC Music Magazine and Classic FM magazine as well as presenting a series of pre concert talks and interviews with Sir Colin Davis, Nikolaj Zneider, Gergiev, Pappano and Michael Tilson Thomas many of which are available online. He has recently written and presented a documentary for Classic FM and his first book, The Show Must Go On, published by Elliott and Thompson is available in bookstores and on Amazon. In his spare time he is flute professor at the Royal College of Music in London.
Tim Carey, who lives in Chelmsford, enjoys a career full of variety, as solo performer, chamber-music player, orchestral keyboard player and teacher. His early studies were with Harold Parker, Louis Kentner, and then at the Royal College of Music, with Kendall Taylor, David Parkhouse and Bernard Roberts. He was awarded many prizes and scholarships during his time there, both in and outside college.
He now spends his time partnering many different instrumentalists, especially flautists, in a large variety of chamber-music combinations, as well as giving the occasional solo recital or concerto performance. He is the regular pianist for many flute events and courses in England, America and elsewhere, and has worked at all of London’s music colleges. As orchestral keyboard player he has worked in the past with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Orchestras, the Philharmonia, the Ulster Orchestra and the BBC Con cert Orchestra. He has recently formed a professional orchestra in Chelmsford, and is much in demand as a teacher.
Piano playing has taken Tim all over Britain and Europe, as well as to Israel, Malta, Russia, Scandinavia, Australia, Japan, and regularly to the USA, where he has become the pianist for the Wildacres flute course in Noth Carolina and the Cincinatti Flute Symposium, as well as several other flute events. He is also one of the pianists for the British Flute Society biennial conventions.
When not actively involved in musical pursuits, Tim finds time for his other interests, which include languages, collecting and restoring cars, flying, and boats!