Violin, piano and vocal recitals are fairly common now, but concerts featuring solo woodwind instruments are still rarities.
So thanks go to Westminster Music Library for presenting this concert given by multi-talented flautist Rachel Smith, principal flautist with the Coldstream Guards Band.
Having studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Royal Northern College of Music, concerto and recital performances have taken Rachel across the UK from The Fairfield Halls and St John’s Smith Square, to Europe, Japan, Zimbabwe and the USA.
Her recital last week was a demanding one, but this stylish performer maintained a cool front throughout. Opening with the Partita in A minor for solo flute by Johann Sebastian Bach, it was apparent to our audience that this musician is of an exceptionally high standard, tackling florid passages and lightning speed runs with deceptive ease.
Rachel has made numerous recordings and broadcasts for BBC Radio, TV and film, including BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now and Radio 4’s Classic Serial. Her playing has inspired new works from British composers such as Paul Lewis, whose Three Flute Diversions for solo flute are recorded on her début CD Summer was in August, and which she performed for us in this concert.
The concert drew to a close with two very contrasting pieces – Debussy’s Syrinx – a beautiful impressionist work named after a wood nymph in Greek mythology, followed by Tango etude no. 3, one of six etudes in a tango style by the 20th Century Argentian composer Astor Piazzolla.
A truly memorable evening which our enthusiastic audience clearly enjoyed:
“Quality magnificent, but what makes these performances so satisfying is the intimate atmosphere – it’s as if the artists were performing specially for us – for me!!”
“An excellent and varied programme given by a very talented performer.”
“A lovely evening which I really enjoyed, thank you very much!”