Review: Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido, cello, & Tianyang Han, piano in Chichester

Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido & Tianyang Han, Chichester Cathedral, Feb 20

Other Chichester lunchtime recitals

One of my greatest discoveries in recent years of attending more lunchtime recitals has been the chamber music of Brahms. Others had discovered it already, of course, but education is an ongoing thing and happens in a different order from one person to the next. I have always spectacularly failed at synesthesia by which music suggests colours but I’m very tempted to go for rich, deep tones with Brahms, either emerald or maroon. Velvet, though. 

First up from Yuuki and Tianyang was Frank Bridge and his Four pieces for cello and piano. The opening Berceuse was uncomplicated and lovely as were the Serenade and Élégie with the former tranquil with just a ripple on its surface and the latter a shade darker and more melancholy. The Cradle Song then stepped up a couple of gears with Yuuki smooth and Tianyang qué simpático throughoutThe chamber music of Frank Bridgelooks like being another area for further investigation.

But the Brahms Sonata, op. 38, was altogether a more complex excursion. The first movement is a blend of passion and his extended melodic lines. While it is ostensibly a cello piece, the piano is given plenty to contribute. It wasn’t the piece I was half expecting but it is not dissimilar to the Violin Sonatas and the same order that is placed for any Frank Bridge I find is likely to include their cello siblings to keep them company on the ever-expanding CD shelves. I can’t help myself.

The Allegretto quasi Menuetto soon brought to mind the spirit of the famous Suites as found by Pablo Casals and flowed from its hesitant beginning before Yuuki was allowed to extend himself in the Allegro finale, much busier and technically demanding, which he did with panache.

So, if Brahms is velvet, maybe Handel is satin, Mozart is shot silk, Philip Glass is nylon and Elgar is tweed. I had thought that music was only the notes and the sound they made and poetry was the words and their sound, too, but there’s plenty to work on in finding textures, and textiles, to correspond with composers. Luckily, it still falls within the remit of synesthesia so we won’t have to think of a new word for it. I’m not sure I’m going to convince myself of it, though. I’m not sufficiently hyper-sensitive and I don’t know enough different sorts of fabric.

David Green

Pictured: Yuuki Bouterey-Ishido

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