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The Strad
April 2002 edition

Richard Harwood ('cello)
Purcell Room, London : 8 January 2002

"Swelling audience numbers at the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series indicate that word is spreading fast about this rewarding annual fixture, containing mainly new music.

Cellist Richard Harwood (8 January) is a fine musician, with a well-considered blend of flamboyance and sensitivity. His colourful programme began with a searingly beautiful elegy by Dominic Muldowney, entitled 'A Sad Pavane for these Distracted Times'. An accompanying douple-stopped drone never compromised the songful melancholy and bitter grief of the 'cello's surging themes.

Philip Grange's 'Nocturnal Image' was more ephemeral but demanded meticulous control in its whispered alternations of fluttered fragments and more flowing ideas. Harwood's delicate tone sketched the subtle contrasts in its dark-hued palette of colours. The soulful lament of 'Siward's River Song', by Martin Butler, the series' featured composer, was spellbinding, Harwood's silvery tone soaring out."

Catherine Nelson

 

 

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