The third live lunchtime recital of the new academic year was given by 17 year old music scholar, Jessica, performing flute repertoire by Reinecke, Debussy & Fauré.
The recital began with Reinecke’s Ballade. Reinecke started composing at the age of seven and his compositions were well received by his fellow musicians such as Mendelssohn, Brahms and Liszt. Reinecke is probably better remembered today as a teacher rather than a composer. Ballade has a beautiful lyrical quality; the first and last section pulls at the heartstrings and contrast with the cheeky and playful middle section. The contrasting moods and Jessica's flawless performance had the audience hooked.
Following this, we heard Syrinx, also known as La Flûte de Pan was written at the request of the playwright Gabriel Mourey for his play Psyché. Mourey asked Debussy to write ‘the last melody Pan plays before his death’. As an unaccompanied piece, Syrinx allowed Jessica much freedom to pull the tempo around and make it her own. Due to the nature of the piece, Jessica could interpret the markings in her own way and utilised the varied dynamics to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Hauntingly engaging.
Jessica concluded her recital by performing Fauré’s Fantaisie. While at the Paris Conservatoire, the flute professor Paul Taffanel had asked Fauré to compose a ‘virtuosic examination piece’. In 1898, Fauré presented Taffanel with the manuscript which Taffanel then edited. Fantaisie is a highly emotional piece with a passionate and improvisational character allowing Jessica, once again, to express her outstanding musicality.
Jessica’s recital is available to watch here.