French-themed concert

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WINDMILL Studio Concert Club review by Brian Moore

THERE was a genuine anticipatory warmth in the applause which greeted the piano duo Antithesis at the village hall in Swineshead.

This was the third visit to the club by Greek-born Petros Moschos and Dimitris Karydis and those who attended previous recitals knew they were in for a musically vibrant occasion.

Their programme of French music opened with an early work by Debussy called Lindaraja, a rarity indeed, which anticipated the musical style the composer was soon to claim as his own.

Works by Ravel and Milhaud followed, the latter with his ever-popular Scaramouche with its exciting Latin-American style finale, and the Mother Goose Suite one of Ravel’s most famous works. Though better known in its orchestral garb, the piano duet version proved highly attractive, especially in its tender colourful Empress of the Pagodas.

Continuing the French theme, works by Messiaen, Saint-Saens and Ravel formed the second half, concluding with a performance of La Valse.

Ravel was particularly attracted to the Viennese waltz and this work was carried through with a mix of great sensitivity and panache.

The audience was reluctant to let the players go and they obliged with an encore, their own version of a movement from the Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens, another huge tour de force.

This duo has won prizes and performed in many cities in Europe as well as far afield as South America. How privileged that Swineshead can still attract them.