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Laura Sergeant and Kristina Yorgova in Concert

Last Sunday afternoon’s Cowal Music Club concert, given by Laura Sergeant (cello) and Kristina Yorgovo (piano), turned out to be the perfect antidote to the storm brewing outside.

Laura (from Larbert) and Kristina (from Bulgaria) have been performing together since they met at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS)in Glasgow  in 2014. Since then they have performed all over Scotland and beyond.

Both players are highly accomplished, and this was clear right from the outset, with Bach’s 2nd  Gamba Sonata,  - a four movement work demanding excellent control and secure ensemble playing.

Both Laura and Kristina took it in turns to introduce each piece, and as suggested by Laura, the Debussy Cello Sonata which followed was indeed “something completely different”.  Indeed a whole different sound world opened up, with varying tempi and dynamics , and effects ranging from artificial harmonics and fast pizzicato to sul ponticello (playing at the bridge). Both players negotiated all this with apparent ease, and this was all greatly appreciated by the large audience.

Part two began with the entertaining and lively piece “Requiebros” (meaning a flirtatious remark) by the Spanish cellist composer Gaspar Cassado.  This takes the listener to the sunny climes of Spanish music,  and was especially welcome on a stormy January afternoon in Dunoon!  However it is fairly short, and soon darker elements were to the fore in the performance of the Russian composer Serge Prokofiev’s impressive  Sonata op 119  – which was first performed by the great Russian players Rostropovitch (cello) and Richter (piano) in 1950. In the first movement, the low register of the cello has great and very effective prominence, while the following two movements are lighter, and more quirky.

The audience obviously really enjoyed the performance of this ’miraculous’ sonata, - so much so that an encore followed –  perhaps inevitably  “The Swan”, by the French composer Saint-Saens, which rounded off a fine afternoon’s music-making.

Watch out for Cowal Music Club’s next concert on February 18th at 2.30 in the Burgh Hall, when the Salome String Quartet will perform.


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