Music review: Boud / Devieilhe / Gower / Gent / Bezuidenhout
Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: Nicola Boud/Sabine Devieilhe/Jane Gower/Sophie Gent/Kristian Bezuidenhout at Queen’s Hall, reviewed by Carol Main
GIVEN how familiar modern musical instruments are to us now, it is easy to take for granted all the technical development that went into their creation. In keeping with the Edinburgh International Festival’s technology theme, yesterday’s Queen’s Hall recital was as much a presentation of early instruments as it was of music written for them.
Australian clarinettist Nicola Boud is clearly a passionate champion of her instrument and its history. In a programme which brought in viola, voice and bassoon coming and going in a variety of combinations, Boud was never off stage.
Her sound – whether on the kind of five-key clarinet for which Mozart would have written his Kegelstatt trio in E flat (she played a copy of a late 18th-century instrument) or on the more complicated German clarinet of 85 years later she used for Brahms’s Sonata in E flat Op 120 No 2 – was super-smooth and possessed a mellower edge than is possible with the harder wood clarinets of today.
It was matched well with a fortepiano of roughly the same vintage, skilfully played by Kristian Bezuidenhout, although the more bashful sound of Sophie Gent’s viola tended to be overshadowed.
Originally published in The Scotsman