Monday, 1 August 2011

Elizabeth Drury at Budleigh Festival

Brendon Ashe and Elizabeth Drury

Topsham soprano Lizzie Drury has been making a successful career in London as a singer - and a saxophonist. To crown teh Budleigh Festival, she returned to perform with accompanist Brendon Ashe.

Brendon plays
They opened with Purcell's 'Sweeter then Roses', a relaxed and slowly built performance with got the audience in a very good mood. But many had come, not to hear Lizzie sing, but to hear her play the saxophone.

Lizzie sings
She also has a saxaphone
Elegant and dressed in black - that's Lizzie's saxophone. And the sound matched its looks. Lizzie played Ralph Vaughan Williams' 'Six Studies in English Folk Song' with great tenderness and soul. Together she and Brendon produced a wonderful symphony of sound. Sometimes Brendon would open on the piano. Sometimes it would be the saxophone which came first. Always the sound was beautiful and entrancing.



. . . and plays beautufully

Ten 'Hermit Songs' by Samuel Barber completed the programme. Reminiscent of Mark Padmore's performance of Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Britten Sinfonia at Dartington, but in a higher range, each song was a perfect little piece in itself. One or two were surprisingly short. The 'pilgrimage' charts human desire - a woman wants a baby, a man wants a keg of beer. Lust, storms, lament, all are included. (The storm is very abrupt!) The last song took us on the last pilgrimage - to death.

Lizzie's singing was very sweet, and very professional. If only the concert could have been longer - but a lunchtime concert can only last an hour, so we finished with 'Sure on this Shining Night', also by Barber. Brendon's touch on the piano was sensitive as always and LIzzie's singing was lingering and soulful. The pitch and dynamics perfect throughout.

It is always a real treat to see a local person who has built a classical career come back to entertain us in rural Devon. Many thanks to Lizzie and Brendon for a delightfully moving recital - and where else but the Budleigh Festival!

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