It is always a delight when young musicians come to the Alnwick Music Society, especially those as talented as BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012 Laura Van Der Heijden (cello) and Russian Petr Liminov (piano).
The programme of Brahms, Beethoven, Janacek and Prokofiev promised a treat, and so it was. Brahms’ rich and noble Cello Sonata no.1, and Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata were the two main works.
In the Brahms Laura explored the full range of the cello’s sonority, and Petr made the Playhouse Steinway B piano sing and thunder with imagination and skill. Occasionally, in the louder passages, the balance passed in favour of the piano.
It’s a concern raised before, due in part to the greater power of a modern grand piano. It’s a small criticism, however, in the face of the superb interpretation given to the music, the rapport of the two players, and their fine musicianship. The Beethoven Variations (WoO46), and the Janacek ‘Pohadka’ added to make a good programme. A Romance by Skriabin ended the evening.