Music by De Gant, Debussy, Ravel, Piazolla, Chopin, Villa–Lobos and Dyens
Duo Mosaica: Martin Jaenecke (violin and soprano saxophone) and Cheryl Grice-Watterson (guitar)
St Andrew’s on The Terrace
Wednesday, 4 August 2010, 12.15pm
A German violinist (and saxophone player) and an English guitarist both emigrated to New Zealand. The result is, in part, this delightful duo. Both players are highly skilled professional musicians, and their relaxed playing, with a few spoken introductions, revealed their enjoyment of music-making. Hearing a guitarist of this standard was quite a revelation.
Their programme spanned the centuries, from the seventeenth (Loeillet de Gant’s charming Sonata) to the twentieth (Roland Dyens). It included transcriptions (Chopin: Valse opus 34; Debussy: La fille aux cheveux de lin, amusingly misprinted to mean horses rather than hair), a work written for guitar solo (Villa-Lobos: Prelude no.2) as well as Piazolla: ‘Two Tangos’ from Histoire du Tango, played by both instruments.
The solo featured exquisitely played harmonics; the Piazolla’s tangos were full of atmosphere and colour.
The surprise was to hear Villa-Lobos’s famous aria Bachianas Brasileiras no.5 played on guitar with the vocal line played by Jaenecke on soprano saxophone. The tone of the saxophone was somewhat too loud for the guitar at times. The guitarist used subtle amplification throughout the concert, presumably to match the volume of the instruments better, but it was always tasteful, and apart from in this work, the balance was just right.
The final item, Tango EN SKAI, by Dyens, was a jazz number which also featured the saxophone, and ended the recital in an upbeat mood.