Veronica Henderson (cello) Julia Seiber-Boyd (daughter of Matyas Seiber), Ian de Massini (accordion), Simon Seiber-Boyd
“Well, I didn’t know what to expect but is wasn’t this” was a comment overheard after Ian de Massini in accompaniment with Veronica Henderson played the Cavendish Hall in the third of Peak Music’s five concert season. The comment highlighted why concert goers were willing to turn out on a wet Wednesday evening in mid-February to hear this classical accordion and cello duo from Cambridge; Peak Music concerts offer far more than just music played by highly accomplished artistes.
Billed as “A Hungarian Evening” the audience enjoyed pieces by Seiber, Liszt, Bartòk, Brahms and Martinu that evoked the spirit and mood of Central and Eastern Europe. This was contrasted with a more light hearted repertoire by de Massini himself and G.S. Mathis, Seiber’s pseudonym when composing more playful pieces influenced by jazz. The result was a delight.
Ian and Veronica’s chemistry and artistry shone through. Veronica’s skill and expertise on the cello was wonderful to listen to and observe whist Ian aptly demonstrated his wide ranging versatility. Aside from performing and composing, he is King’s College in Cambridge’s longest serving countertenor (male alto). He added his voice to his own Hungarian Medley arrangement with surprising effectiveness, although not to everyone’s taste. His dialogue with the audience was witty too – “This accordion’s range of buttons stop here because this is the largest instrument I can take as hand baggage on Ryanair!”.
The Cavendish Hall with its excellent acoustic is a superb concert venue. But it offers far more. It is also just large enough to justify artistes travelling to the Peak District yet small enough for the intimate conversation between stage and audience that was so enjoyable at this concert.
“This” was well worth turning out for on a wet February evening!