When, where and what did you play the first time with the English Concert?
SO long ago! I remember playing 2nd flute to both Stephen Preston and Nicolas McGegan some time in the 1980’s when Trevor Pinnock was artistic director.
What has been your most memorable TEC concert and why?
It was Trevor Pinnock who gave me my first big “break” – the wonderful opportunity to play Brandenburg Concerto No.5 with him and Simon Standage. We recorded it for Deutsche Grammophon and performed it all over the world. I will never forget a certain brilliant moment in the huge harpsichord cadenza when Trevor usually added octaves in the left hand (when the triplets get going in the right hand) to give it extra Oomph! The result was totally thrilling, every time! Everyone in the audience would hold their breath and almost explode with relief and appreciation at the end.
What’s one of your favourite pieces of music and why?
There are three pieces which I probably adore above all others –
Bach’s Mass in B Minor is a perfect masterpiece. .. And has two lovely flute arias too!
Mozart’s Symphonies no.40 & 41 – works in which Mozart encapsulates perfection in the classical idiom at the same time as breaking new ground with brave, extraordinary and prescient melodic and harmonic invention. There is pure tragedy in the searing harmonies of the 1st movt of no.40, harmonies which Mozart stretches into uncharted territories in the last movement with a complete serial tone row (over a 100 years before Webern!) Alongside these amazing achievements , Mozart finds time for one of his clever jokes – using tonic and dominant throughout the 3rd movement of no.41 – deliberately naive and simple (perhaps even poking fun at his contemporary audience?) and a world away from what then happens in the last movement – he throws the rule book away, again!
I know you wanted one favourite piece but I have to give you three.
No.3 is Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony “Eroica”. I simply love the music. It is an emotional tour de force in which Beethoven bares his soul and speaks to us directly, as humans.
Do you have a secret interest or hobby that would surprise people?
Nothing secret or surprising I’m afraid: Cooking, gardening…growing my own lemons, olives, grapes – ie creating a Mediterranean garden in London (!), Sea swimming, Gentle cycling, TV thrillers