Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Scelsi, Radulescu & Christian Mason

Giacinto Scelsi - Sauh II (soprano, alto); Duo (violin, cello)
Horatiu Radulescu - Exil Interieur (cello, piano)
Christian Mason - Just as the Sun is Always (piano); Heaven's Chimes are Slow (flute, piano)

The Octandre Ensemble
Sarah Dacey and Cathy Bell (voices), Mandhira de Saram (violin),
Corentin Chassard (cello), Audrey Milheres (flute), Joseph Houston (piano)

Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, W14, December 13th 2011
To see the wonderful venue please click onto a virtual tour of the Arab Hall: [R]

The opulent surroundings of Leighton House Museum, one of the most remarkable buildings of the 19th Century, provided an ideal setting for intimate solo and duo works by Scelsi, Mason and Radulescu.

Starting in the famous Arab Hall with Scelsi's vocal duet, the rest of the programme was given in the Concert Hall upstairs, packed to capacity with an audience of some 100; congratulations to the organisers for achieving that !

Best for me were the two Scelsi items and those of Christian Mason, co-director of Octandre Ensemble, who confesses influences from the other composers featured tonight. I found the Radulescu sonata too insistent and hectoring in its climaxes for my taste, as previously, and the cellist had difficulties with its prolonged harmonics.

Joseph Houston impressed in Mason's solo piano piece, remarkable for its beauty and exploitation of subtle sounds emanating from inside the piano, "resonant bell-like sonorities which form around the note E" upon which the piece focuses. His slow Heaven's Chimes with flute was well presented and brought an unusual evening to a safisfying close.

Peter Grahame Woolf