ED2023 Music Reviews ED2023 Reviews

Flute Recital: Messiaen’s Le Merle Noir (Leila Marshall – Flute, Ailsa Aitkenhead – Piano)

By | Published on Monday 14 August 2023

Composer Olivier Messiaen chided his wife, celebrated pianist Yvonne Loriod, for not properly portraying the characters of individual bird species in his ornithological inspired works – that wouldn’t have been necessary today. The eponymous blackbird was dramatically present in Marshall’s flawless interpretation of this assertive birdsong piece. It contrasted well with Messiaen’s ‘Vocalise Etude’, an earlier, gently lyrical song without words revealing his admiration for Debussy. Pianist Aitkenhead gave an atmospheric performance of Debussy’s ‘La Cathedral Engloutie’ drawing out the sunken bells and briefly revealed majesty of the drowned cathedral which damply sank again. Also included was the well-loved Poulenc’s ‘Sonata for Flute and Piano’ and Marais’ ‘Les Folies d’Espagne’; it was summed up succinctly by a gentleman behind me, “Wow!”

ArtSpace@St Marks, run ended.
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]