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Review: Lesley Garrett and Emma Johnson, King's Lynn Festival

Bringing together the talented trio of renowned soprano Lesley Garrett, clarinettist Emma Johnson and pianist Anna Tilbrook, made for a wonderful concert that for many of those attending will be a highlight of the 69th King's Lynn Festival.

There was much to savour on Sunday evening in the Corn Exchange in this delightful selection box of musical gems that spanned the centuries and the genres from Mozart and Bach to Bernstein and Sting.

It was clear that the three performers were enjoying their delightfully informal performance as much as the audience.

During this specially-devised festival programme for soprano voice and clarinet, they were equally at ease with the natural melody of folk song and the great composers, including Schubert, Handel and Gershwin.

Such was their relaxing style of presentation the listener felt they were singing and playing for them personally and we were even treated to a world premier arrangement.

Lesley Garrett (14178775)
Lesley Garrett (14178775)

From the delightful Pa-pa-pa from Mozart's Magic Flute to the equisite When Daisies Pied with its cuckoo echoes and the folk hit All Around My Hat, through to the beautiful singing of Fields of Gold, there really was something to suit all tastes in this lovely evening.

The individual musical abilities of the three ladies, looking glamorous and colourful in their evening gowns (which they changed for different colours for the second half of the programme) were evident in various pieces such as Where the Bee Sucks, piano and voice in Belle Nuit from Offenbach's Tales of Hoffman and the beautiful Fields of Gold in which Lesley's fine soprano voice came to the fore.

All together a delightful evening that ended all too soon but not before the appreciative audience had called for an encore.

After the warm applause subsided they were rewarded with a reprise of their final Gershwin number, I Got Rhythm.

Richard Parr

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