Friday, 20 November 2015

Alex Wilson & Ruth Molins "A Breath of Fresh Air" Piano & Flute Recital St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton Sunday 15 November 2015

Alex Wilson & Ruth Molins
A Breath of Fresh Air

Devon's hardest working flautist, Ruth Molins, works with Exeter Symphony Orchestra (often as soloist), St David's Players (most recent production "Pirates of Penzance"), and many other production companies providing first class flute-work at venues throughout the South West, and beyond. (See Ruth's Diary.)

Ruth also plays flute and harp duets with Taunton harpist Sally Jenkins as "The Zephyr Duo" (which started life at an Exeter Symphony Orchestra performance of Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto), and regularly gets together with fellow flautists Sophie Brewer and Jennifer Campbell to play concerts and private functions as the "Flute Cake" flute trio.

Ruth also gives solo performances and has played "Tasty Music" with Hilary Boxer, and flute and guitar duets with David Cottam - plus a very special quartet performance with "Music on the Edge" flautist (and Ruth's personal tutor) Susie Hodder-Williams - all as part of her own series of concerts for Lympstone Entertainments in 2013.

Ruth regularly appears on Phonic FM's "Classical Journey" programme to discuss her work, and often gives live performances. (e.g. a première performance of a new composition by Michael Colquhoun in March 2013)

Pianists are always keen to play in duet with Ruth, and James Keefe (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), Rebecca Willson and Dorothy Raven are among those fortunate to have shared the stage with Ruth.

In a new and exciting collaboration, Ruth now plays in concert with pianist Alex Wilson. Alex plays with muscular precision and supreme delicacy, and is the perfect foil to Ruth's superlative flutey goodness. At their concert in Ashburton (a repeat of the previous week's concert at St Matthew's Church in Exeter), a small but select audience of devotees were immediately impressed by the spectacular interplay between these two great musicians.

It was hard to know where to focus one's attention as each instrument sang out with a perfect poetry of sound. As a special treat the second half of the concert opened with a selection of Magnus Lindberg's "Piano Jubilees", which gave us all a chance to concentrate on Alex's outstanding pianistic skill and supreme sensitivity. Lindberg delights in leaving the listener hanging on an unexpected and inconclusive note or chord, which the ear must ultimately accept as the conclusion. Alex achieved this very difficult assignment perfectly.

The Exeter Concert was recorded, and there is a good chance that extracts may be heard on Phonic FM in the near future. Here is the full programme of the concert - any requests?

Johann Sebastian Bach: "Flute Sonata in E major" BWV 1035

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: "Rondo in D major"

Gabriel Fauré: "Fantasie"

Henri Dutilleux: "Sonatine for Flute & Piano"

Magnus Lindberg: "Piano Jubilees" I, III & IV

Sergei Prokofiev: "Sonata for Flute and Piano"

The closing sonata was perhaps the most astounding part of the whole programme, a tour de force in four movements ending with a blistering allegro con brio. Ruth explained that Prokofiev had composed the music as a pastime, while working with a movie production team in Kazakhstan. To produce such a masterpiece in his spare time demonstrates the man's genius - and was reflected in Ruth's performance, outstanding and stunning, and yet only a small part of Ruth's prodigious output!

A breath-taking combination
Piano: Alex Wilson
Flute: Ruth Molins

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