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Dynamic Duo Give ‘Exciting And Unusual’ Concert For Guildford Music Society

Published on: 23 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 23 Jan, 2022

Review written by a member of Guildford Music Society @ GURC

A dynamic duo, Spanish saxophonist Manu Brazo and Indonesian pianist Pradjna Indrawati, gave a most exciting and unusual recital of 19th- and 20th-century music arranged for their combination of instruments in a concert at the Guildford Music Society @ GURC concert on Sunday, January 16.

From the onset the two musicians, from diverse backgrounds, produced ravishing sounds with astonishing technical ability.

Saxophonist Manu-Brazo.

Claude Debussy’s Beau Soir, written aged 16 as a song inspired by a poem by his friend Paul Bourget, was most sensitively played evoking a beautiful night, with a whispered piano backing.

This initiated what was to be a splendid concert.

Suite Hellenique, four pieces by the Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde, proved very exciting with the sax exclaiming alternate outbursts of stridency and lyricism throughout all four showing Manu’s complete oneness with his instrument together with a constant rhythmical background from the superb pianist.

“Superb pianist” Prajna Indrawati.

The ever popular Meditation from Massenet’s opera Thais, usually played on a violin or flute, lent itself admirably to the tenor sax with its gorgeous tone and sensitive phrasing and was well contrasted with the Danzas Rumanas of Bela Bartok which preceded the interval.

This suite of six Romanian folk dances, each from different parts of the country and usually played by Gypsy violinists, took about five minutes to perform, provided an exhilarating end to the first half.

After the interval another piece by Iturralde, Memorias, was a most attractive composition evoking romantic memories from the past. Starting dramatically, it evolved into an emotional pairing between piano and saxophone before entering a swinging blues sax section followed by a fond farewell.

Two pieces by Piazzolla followed, the first a very sensitive Ave Maria from the pen of this Argentinian composer and the second in complete contrast Muerte del Angel having an extremely lively beginning and end, surrounding a solemn inner melody.

The popular Czardas by Vittorio Monti was an excellent piece to end this recital and this music has become elevated over time to become an Hungarian national dance. Starting slowly and rather dramatically it quickly progresses to a frenetic presto and is guaranteed to produce lasting applause from an audience. Ours was no exception.

The next concert from Guildford Music Society @GURC at Guildford United Reformed Church in  Portsmouth Road is on Sunday, February 6 at 3pm when a selection of talented students from the University of Surrey will be performing.

Do join us if you can.

University of Surrey student team after a recent concert.

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