There are some concerts which simply defy words – and tonight’s gig at the Lakeside Theatre featuring the extraordinary Joanna MacGregor and the Brazilian master percussionist Adriano Adewale was quite simply one of those.
The chemistry between the two performers was so strong it almost felt as though you could reach out and grab it. Several times during the evening a look and a smile would release a virtuosic energy that literally dragged you to the edge of your seat.
‘Most of tonights music is based on dance music’ announced Joanne MacGregor at the start of the evening – and such was the physicality of the two it felt as though they were dancing with their instruments. I upset the person in front of me with my furious tapping of the seat back as I became emmersed in the trio of Brazilian Songs.
Then came two numbers by Egberto Gismonti originally arranged for Joanne and the @BrittenSinfonia (the same orchestra who visited Dartington recently with the tenor Mark Padmore and had me in raptures about Britten’s Sernade for Tenor and Horn). Rumour had it that Adriano and Joanne were able to play the pieces at twice the speed – it certainly felt like it.
But the real piece de resistance were the three tangos by the Argentinian tango composer Piazzolla which closed the programme. Its simply impossible to describe the energy, exuberance and down right ferocity with which Michelangelo 70 and Libertango were performed. And sandwhiched in between them – the beautiful, melodic and haunting Milonga del Angel.
In between these we were thrown some Bach, quite a few of Adewale’s own compositions (including his incredible Berimbau solo) and even some George Crumb. Having read and heard so much about Crumb’s work for prepared piano it was fantastic to hear something live at last – even if it did feel slightly at odds with the rest of the programme.
When you read blurb which states ‘an eclectic and bondary crossing programme’ you usually fear for your ears but this was something else all together.All credit to @segue_live for bringing these two artists ‘Together’ , bloody amazing for Colchester that it was seen here first – and I really hope its not the last time they perform together. If you get a chance to see them perform GO SEE – period!