Håkan Hardenberger & Colin Currie

Dialogo 4
Sense and Innocence
Lucid Intervals [London premiere]
Fire Over Water

Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) & Colin Currie (percussion)

Reviewed by: Kenneth A. Clifford

Reviewed: 13 February, 2007
Venue: Jerwood Hall, LSO St Luke's, Old Street, London

This was a somewhat unorthodox concert in that it included the unusual and surprisingly refreshing combination of trumpet and percussion. The name Håkan Hardenberger has become synonymous with the trumpet and Colin Currie proved to be a perfect partner.

The programme opened with a poignant, introverted work by Swedish composer Daniel Börtz entitled Dialogo 4. Texturally the writing is sparse and there is much imitation between instruments.

Dave Maric’s Sense and Innocence for live percussion and recorded material followed, and here Currie had the opportunity to display his wide ranging command over a variety of instruments, from bowed crotales to the marimba. Currie characterised the four contrasting movements wonderfully and showed great authority, technique and musicianship throughout.

Hardenberger and Currie premiered Maric’s Lucid Intervals at the Verbier Festival in July 2006 and here we were treated to its London premiere. Surely the highlight of the evening, Lucid Intervals presented some tremendous rhythmic complexities within a blues context and both artists demonstrated real precision throughout.

Per Nørgård’s Fire Over Water and Louis Andriessen’s Woodpecker sets a multitude of technical challenges for the percussionist and Currie’s startling technique was certainly up to the job. However it is not just Colin Currie’s mesmerizing technical sorcery that is striking – rather it is his genuine musicality that separates him from his peers. He is not showy for its own sake and he never puts showmanship before the meaning of the music he is trying to communicate.

Hardenberger returned to the stage where he joined Currie for André Jolivet’s seven-movement Heptade. There is a wonderful chemistry between these two artists who instinctively anticipate each other’s musical impulses. They make you forget that you are listening to an unusual combination of instruments, leaving you instead to journey with the music.

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