Of Butterflies and Blacksmiths

Frances Cooper (soprano) and Joanna Nicholson (clarinets)

Scottish Traditional, Classical and Contemporary Songs and Instrumental Music

Lunchtime Concert + Soup & Sweet

Saturday 28 March 2015 • 12 noon
OAP Hall, Huntly (map)

Review by Maureen Ross

Frances Cooper, David Ward and Joanna Nicholson

Frances Cooper, David Ward and Joanna Nicholson
Photo by Jacky Player

As March went out like a lion on a sunny and very blustery Saturday in Huntly, soprano Frances Cooper and clarinettist Joanna Nicholson regaled an appreciative audience to a wonderful lunchtime musical experience. Entitled Of Butterflies and Blacksmiths, the concert featured classical and contemporary songs including some Scottish traditional lyrics. The skillful playing of Nicholson on clarinet and bass clarinet combined magically with Cooper's perfect pitch soprano notes to bring out the full meaning of the songs, especially in I Never Saw Another Butterfly Lori Laitman's six settings of poems by children of the Holocaust. The songs were chosen for their connection with nature and a concurrent projection of Cooper's sensitive flower and landscape photography underlined the springtime theme of the concert. The whole performance was, as promised in the publicity, a "playful, plaintive and poignant programme for soprano and clarinet", which was extremely satisfying for the audience.

As an added extra they devised and ran a musical quiz which was very well received. The charm, creativeness and sense of fun displayed by these two performers did much to engage the audience and enhanced the enjoyment of the occasion.

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