Famous names generate interest needless to say, but at £25 per ticket and a further £5 for a mainly superfluous small glossy advert-stuffed programme, this seemed to be a somewhat extravagant evening for the audience, even to hear the distinguished Lloyd Webbers.
Cellist Julian and wife Jiaxin must have had an interesting time choosing a programme to suit the many tastes anticipated. With confident support from pianist Pam Chowan more than 20 pieces covered a wide time–scale with some charming arrangements of songs and interestingly adjusted works for the three musicians. Frequently though, Jiaxin’s cello sounded far more rich and sonorous than Julian’s famous Stradivarius, perhaps the fulsome acoustic was responsible. However there were too many times when the piano was too weighty for the string duo, with overenthusiastic hectic keyboard flourishes not in keeping with the majority of various ancient baroque gems.
Father William and brother Andrew both featured with heart stopping sonorous works:Moon Silver, Pie Jesu – truly lovely, but dear Dvorak lacked sparkle for his Harvesters.
Pacing yourselves for such a tour is an art in itself. Twenty six venues from Edinburgh to Exeter is no mean feat, bearing in mind all the practicalities, but with support from eager, informed audiences this is hopefully a joy for all involved.
It is said that the cello is the closest instrument to the human voice, so with A Tale of Two Cellos Mr and Mrs sang musically throughout with true togetherness.