Review: the Anemos Wind Trio at Lunchtime Live!

Anemos Wind Trio, Portsmouth Cathedral, May 2

Music is possible without a piano. Some of us lunchtime regulars at Portsmouth and Chichester Cathedrals could be forgiven for not realizing that but a change is as good as a rest, it is said, and the rare combination of flute, clarinet and bassoon made for some excursions down some roads less travelled.

Anemos is a fluid group of musicians by the looks of it, able to accommodate to a variety of wind repertoire and today were Helen Walton, Rob Blanken and Richard Moore.

Ian Harrold’s Divertimento, op. 40, was ‘available for hire’ and that is all was known about it. If Rob’s answer to Richard’s question was ad-libbed and not rehearsed there’s a future for him in improvised comedy. The piece was choreography for breath, as was much of the set, with Richard by no means strictly a bass-line part.

In among some slightly eccentric things, Mozart’s Divertimento No. 4, K.439b, at least allowed us to feel at home for the main course. The Allegro was joie de vivre, the Menuet and Trio graceful and the Rondo exactly as expected. In between those movements, though, the Larghetto and Adagio were the obvious standout moments.

Without intending to provoke controversy I would contend that Mozart saved his very, very most gorgeous ideas for his operas and the second movement especially could have been an idea he had left over. Led by Helen’s flute it floated in that way that only Mozart does and the fourth movement was literally soave sia il vento.

It is often useful, whether in an art gallery, at a poetry reading or at a concert, to hear from the artists involved. I, for one, was glad of Richard’s explanation that Marko Mihevc’s Mutatio Eroicae was a Croatian ‘musical joke’. It can be a problem with a lot of ‘modern art’ that one is not sure whether it’s supposed to be funny. With the deconstruction of Beethoven 3 it was a devilish thing and I’d have asked about time signatures if I’d remembered to. Perhaps it was in 4/4 – I wouldn’t know- but some of it might have been in π/x and a good example of how music is actually mathematics and not always easily so. With Radio 3, some might say, continuing to move inexorably towards easy listening – and playing the theme from Star Wars this morning- we might have to go out of the house more and more to find things of such interest.

Leonardo de Lorenzo, with another Divertimento, op. 24, provided a set of flourishes, not least among which was a bassoon trill, in a gladsome round of gaiety in what was a short, sweet and entirely diverting set that showed it’s perfectly possible for an audience to be blown away by wind instruments alone.

David Green

Photo of Rob Blanken (c) Nick Ingamells

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