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Debussy is perhaps rarely heard without evoking an imaginative picture of the late afternoon light glinting through the trees.  Or, maybe, some flickering reflections in a woodland pond.

This was recently conjured up at the Ashmolean, by the flautist and harpist forming ‘Aquilae Duo’.

Yet, together with Claude Debussy’s atmospherically tranquil creations  – accentuating a real sense of light and shade – can also come drama, the lyrical, and the exotic.

During this musical programme it did.

The weekend concert was part of a regular series of musical events at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Aquilae Duo’s recital was inspired by the current Cezanne exhibition at the Museum, and drew upon some compositional talent of the late 19th and early 20th century.

The first half focused on Debussy’s work.  A guest viola joining the flute and harp for the wonderfully multi-textured Sonate pour flute, alto et harp.  Later came some Ravel and Satie amongst others, and a modern work – Movement III from Sonata for Flute and Harp, to round things off with some intensity and drama.

The recital was neat yet informal, with some light-hearted conversation by the musicians gently interspersing the hour long performance.

So, when you look at a great painting, what do you hear?

More information about  Aquilae Duo and Music at the Ashmolean

© Laura Claire H 2014

 

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