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

Wolfram Wagner @ 50

W Wagner Cello sonata & trio

G Waterhouse Gestural variations

M A Turnage Cortege for Chris

A nice short recital by this Austrian clarinet, cello, piano trio, celebrating Wolfram Wagner's 50th the following day. His music, on this hearing, is accessible and interesting, with "high emotional intensity and formal density" [WF]. The cello sonata focuses on two notes upwards and downwards to maintain audience attention and orientation. Do we hear them too often? The new trio (being premiered) is exciting and well contrasted as it proceeds through many concentrated continuous phases, lasting about 1/4 hour.

Waterhouse's variations are likewise compact and impressed as a very viable piece for clarinettists to promote. Turnage's short lament for Christopher van Kampen were evocative and touching.

The small auditorum with hard reflective surfaces and wooden floor is over-loud; it was explained that the carpets were being cleaned !

Peter Grahame Woolf


Graham Waterhouse Portrait Concert

October 9 2012, Dyne House Auditorium, Highgate School, London

Valentina Babor, Klavier Clément Courtin, Violine Namiko Fuse, Violine Konstantin Sellheim, Viola Graham Waterhouse, Violoncello


A portrait concert at his Alma Mater, Highgate School, gave an opportunity to hear music of Munich-based cellist/composer Graham Waterhouse in extenso. He is academically inclined, and eschews the recent excesses of 21st C avant garde experimentation. He is however "known for unusual scoring, such as a Piccolo Quintet, Bright Angel for three bassoons and contrabassoon" which I have not encountered.

Most rewarding was a string quartet based on a motet by Orlande de Lassus (1532-1594) which demonstrated that 12-tone music was nothing new with Schönberg ! The programme notes (very small black print on dark blue background) were unfortunately hard to read...

Joined by four colleagues from Munich, this was the most interesting and successful of a group of works which included a mini-piano concerto in homage to Liszt, with Valentina Babor a very impressive pianist. Highgate School boasts a fine new concert hall with good acoustics (on this occasion enhanced with a modicul of reverb !). It was being recorded and videoed and I look forward to hearing this music again.

PEeter Grahame Woolf

see also William Waterhouse Memorial Concert