Harpist brings musical season to a close

Harpist Richard Allen.
Harpist Richard Allen.

Alnwick Music Society brought its season to a conclusion with a magical lunchtime recital at St Paul’s Church.

Talented young concert harpist Richard Allen was the star of the show.

Choosing works by a diverse range of composers, Richard demonstrated the wide range of musical effects and emotions achievable by his instrument.

Spohr’s Fantasie showed influences of his more famous contemporary Beethoven with a combination of drama and melody while the harp arrangement of Balakirev’s piano piece, The Lark, took on a beautifully intimate and delicate character.

Hindemith’s Harp Sonata ran through a range of emotions from dark and dramatic, through boisterous and humorous to nebulous and otherworldly.

Works by Liszt, Debussy and Faure all charmed but perhaps the most intriguing composition of the recital was by a little-known female composer, Henriette Renié.

Richard’s virtuoso performance of her dramatic Pièce Symphonique at times conjured the sounds of an orchestra with violent passages contrasting with bell-like effects and achingly beautiful melody.

A Music Society spokesperson said: “This was a memorable recital enjoyed by an audience that deserved to be larger.”