An almost faultless ensemble

The Rhodesian Academy of Music began their lunch-hour concert series for 1967 with a recital at Bulawayo City Hall yesterday by Robert Sibson (flute) and Hugh Fenn (pianoforte).

They opened with Bach’s E flat Sonata for flute and contuo, one of there in which Bach intended the keyboard instrument to rank as full partner with the flute.

Messra. Sibson and Fenn have played the great B minor Sonata at an earlier recital, and I hope they plan to complete the group. They chose evenly-paced tempi for the outer movements, and it is arguable whether there was sufficient contrast between these movements and the Siciliano sandwiched between them.

Lots of breath

This broad treatment of the music did serve, though, to stress its sturdy humanity, and Mr. Sibson’s attentive phrasing and structural sense made for a very satisfying reading.

Tibicen – the Flute Player by Frederic Curzon, is a light-weight display piece which Mr. Sibson did extremely well.

The first movement from Jacques Ibert’s Concerto for Flute calls for agility and lots of breath. Mr. Sibson coped generously with the progression of long, perky phrases and rapid trills. The slow movement has an aloof Gallic lyricism without Debussy’s intellectual bite or ironic tension. Still, it is attractive music, which Mr. Sibson shaped to a nicely judged climax.

Hugh Fenn’s responsive and urbane accompaniment contributed positively to the success of the recital.

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