Two young artists, Matthew Featherstone flute and Daniel Swain piano, sponsored by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, treated the April audience to a wide ranging and enjoyable concert. The opening piece, Mozart’s Andante in C major for flute and piano, was marked by elegant phrasing and the wistful tone of the piece was well realised.

By contrast Bartok’s Hungarian Suite full of gypsy rhythms and Magyar folk melodies was played with great technical mastery and infectious vitality. The sonata for flute and piano written by the German composer Carl Reinecke was marked by expressive playing with a memorably evocative andante and passionate finale.

Pierre Sancan, a successful pianist conductor and composer, was strongly influenced by the French school of composition and his Sonatine for flute and piano provided strong echoes of Poulenc and lbert. This core piece of the flute repertoire was played with flair and obvious enjoyment. Debussy’s well known short solo piece for flute called Syrinx was clearly relished by Matthew Featherstone in a consummate display which surmounted the many complexities with great ease.

The final work, Prokoviev’s Sonata for flute and piano, was redolent throughout of his ballet music Romeo and Juliet. The nostalgic andante was played with rapt concentration and the joyful finale brought the evening to a satisfying close.

Gerry Philp, 18 April 2011