Last night saw the third and final concert in the inaugural West End Micro Music Festival. Sadly we had missed number two because of TTC snarl ups but we got there fine last night. The first half of the programme was Mozart and Stravinsky but presented in an unconventional and very effective way. The movements of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet and Three Pieces for String Quartet were alternated with an arrangement for clarinet and string trio of Mozart’s adagio from K370 and two of the fragments from K516. It was really cool; one each of the Stravinsky clarinet and string pieces, followed by some Mozart. Rinse and repeat! There were a couple of fairly dark pieces but mostly this is quite playful music and the musicians; Emily Kruspe and Eric Kim-Fujita (violins), Maxime Despax (viola), Sebastian Ostertag (cello) and Brad Cherwin (clarinets) were obviously having a lot of fun.
The second half consisted of Jean Francaix’ Quintet for Clarinet and Strings. It’s an excellent piece that owes a lot to both Mozart and Stravinsky while being completely original. It deserves to be much better known. Both halves featured some lovely playing enhanced by the intimacy of the tiny church setting and some atmospheric lighting by Adam Harris. And it was live and sold out. Hopefully we will see more neighbourhood focussed micro festivals in the future. It’s local music for local people!