Review: ‘Concord of Sweet Sounds’ In Horsham’s Drill Hall

LAST Friday evening (March 16) Horsham’s Denne Road Drill Hall resounded, not to marching feet, but to the pure and delicate sound of the orchestral harp.

In a recital sponsored by the Countess of Munster Trust and organised by The Horsham Music Circle in its 70th anniversary season, rising young star Mélissa Kenny (see photo) delighted members and guests with a virtuoso performance on that most evocative of instruments.

Of English and French parentage, recipient of the Leverhulme Trust Orchestral Mentorship Scholarship and trained both at Toulouse-le Mirail University and at Greenwich’s Trinity Leban Conservatoire, Ms Kenny’s repertoire was as international as her professional background.

The programme included works by Austria-based Englishman Elias Parish-Alvars ( billed in his day as ‘The Liszt of the Harp’); a musical meditation on the ruined Bamyan Buddist statues in Afghanistan by French composer Philippe Hersant ; Claude Debussy’s movingly lyrical ‘Premiére Arabesque’; works by German and Spanish composers Louis Spohr and Manuel de Falla and Russian composer Ekaterina Walter-Küne’s haunting ‘Fantasy on Themes from the Opera Eugene Onegin’ which readers can hear on www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nXC4Kq6cKE when played as the winning entry at Japan’s 20th International Harp Competition.

Appreciation is due to the Countess of Munster Musical Trust Recital Scheme for the funding which made it possible for a Horsham audience to experience the work of this remarkably talented young musician in a performance of extraordinary variety and beauty.

Ms Kenny’s recital is part of the Horsham Music Circle’s 2012 programme which includes their 70th anniversary concert given by Julian Lloyd Webber and Pam Chowhan. Details are listed on website www.horsham-music-circle.org.uk.

Patrick Wynne-Jones