Magazine article Musical Opinion

Joan Enric Lluna Honours Joseph Horovitz on the South Bank

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Joan Enric Lluna Honours Joseph Horovitz on the South Bank

Article excerpt

Joan Enric Lluna honours Joseph Horovitz on the South Bank

Underlying the attractive effervescence of Joseph Horovitz's music is a serious and rich expressive vein, an aspect highlighted in the splendid tribute concert to the composer given by the notable Spanish clarinettist Joan Enric Lluna, partnered superbly by Nigel clayton. Given in the presence of the composer at a well-filled Purcell Room on 10 October, the programme featured Horovitz's works spanning nearly fifty years, including a London Premiere, alongside some other works that inspired them. Many of the works were originally written for Gervase de Peyer, such as the early Concertante for Clarinet and String Quartet of 1949, produced by the twenty-two year old composer between studies under Gordon Jacob at the Royal College of Music and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Its blend of lyricism and wit showed the influence both of the English school of Delius and Vaughan Williams, and the French Neoclassicists Les Six. Modelled on Weber's Concertino, a sparkling account of which launbched the concert, the rich textures were tellingly projected by Lluna supported by a String Quartet comprising Martin Burgess and Clare Hayes, Fiona Bonds and Richard May.

The most recent work was Diversions on a Familiar Theme of 1997, dedicated to Queen Elisabeth II on the occasion of a Royal visit to the Royal College of Music where Horovitz has been a Professor for over forty years. It is a brilliant set of variations on The Merry Peasant, apparently the Monarch's childhood favourite, which Lluna projected with dazzling virtuosity. …

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