REVIEW: Funtington Music Group

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Two emerging musicians of talent, Alena Walentin [flute] and Pavel Timofeyesky [piano], both eminent prize winners in their own fields, played at the Funtington Music Group’s 11th October Concert at the University of Chichester.

Their programme was divided between works by lesser known composers along with more well-known works. They opened with a delightful sonata by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff, which demands a combination of delicacy and energy, and this proved to be an excellent introductory choice, as the piece allows both musicians to portray their personality and outstanding musical skills.

Their second piece was Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando for flute and piano by Philippe Gaubert, a 20th Century French composer. This was a delightful, skittish and boisterous composition at times, yet it included romantic and lyrical layers, particularly in the Nocturne, which was much enjoyed by the audience.

The final piece before the interval was Chaconne for Flute and Piano by Tomas Vitali. Although normally played on the violin, the arrangement in this case by Alena Walentin for flute was a joy, bringing the work into the 21st Century. This is one of Alena’s favourite pieces, and the result showed to perfection both musicians playfulness and subtle lyricism, combined with superb technical fluidity. They had worked together for six years and Pavel’s understated and expressive accompanying was outstanding.

A Flute solo and two piano solos by Liszt and Ravel followed the interval. Pavel played to perfection Ravel’s intricate and demanding Alborada Del Gracioso. This piece is technically very challenging and was beautifully executed by Pavel.

The final piece was by Prokofiev, his Sonata for piano and flute. The duo chose to play this at a daringly fast tempo, but the music still shone wonderfully through, combining its wry humour, with sudden bursts of romanticism mingling beautifully. As it is so technically demanding, it is musically exciting, and Alena and Pavel were exceptional. They showed a subtle combination of delicacy and sensitivity with energy and technical brilliance that this composition demands.

David Tinsley, Chairman of Funtington Music Group, said, “We had such a marvellous evening. Two amazing young musicians, generously playing two encores, won the affection of the audience with their outstanding musical expertise. We were pleased too to welcome many students who told me they were inspired by these exceptional performances. A special evening to remember.”

Further details of the Funtington Music Group can be obtained from the Membership Secretary, Mrs Elizabeth Brooks, on 01243 378900.

Chris Linford