Many people play the clarinet but few attain the solo standard of Kimon Parry who played for Cockermouth Music Society in February, accompanied by pianist Tony Ingham. Young in years but with the sparkling musicality of a seasoned professional, Kimon performed a wonderful programme featuring the old and the new.
Finzi’s Bagatelles, which the composer considered mere trifles, were given the skilful treatment they thoroughly deserve, the contrast between each one being well displayed. Francaix’s Theme with Variations showed off the qualities of the clarinet well, with much lively and supportive accompaniment from a skilled pianist. Brahms’ Sonata in F minor came across with passion, beauty and grace, with all its contrasts to charm the ear.
Penderecki’s Three Miniatures, the contemporary work of the evening, proved to be amazingly approachable, driving rhythm complementing
much original thought. The finale was Weber’s Grand Duo Concertant, one of the great pieces of the repertoire. Both Kimon and Tony produced a brilliant performance of this exciting music, which provoked much applause and a lovely encore in the shape of Rachmaninov’s sublime Vocalise, simple but spellbinding.