GMCD 7202 – Beyond the Dark – Works for Flute and Harp
Anna Noakes – Flute, Gillian Tingay – Harp
BBC Music Magazine – March Issue
Anna Noake’s direct tone and visceral playing particularly suit these English/Irish pieces. With harpist Gillian Tingay, each is given and individual stamp, from the dashing water nymphs in Alwyn’s Naiades to Herbie Hancock-like grooves in Heath’s Beyond the Dark or and unsentimental freshness in Elgar’s Chansons.
Pan Magazine 2001
It has been a real treat listening to this CD over the past few weeks and the more I listen, the more impressed I become. Noakes and Tingay are musicians of the highest calibre, who here present both serious repertoire and one of two Lollipops with a degree of passion and authority not frequently heard.
Most noteworthy are William Alwyn’s Nalades and Dave Heath’s Beyond the Dark, both played with breathtaking virtuosity and skill. Even the most demanding passages demonstrate exquisite control and clarity at all extremes.
However, the technical prowess is not (for me) the CD’s most engaging feature. Rather, the captivating ability of the duo to communicate the essence of the music, and draw the listener into its very core, transporting one beyond the initial “first impression” causes me to marvel at this work of art. The rich palette of expression and tone colours employed by both instrumentalists lead us convincingly form the tender and poignant to the passionate and ferocious, which is surely a hallmark of great art – to go beyond oneself to the world of the music’s creator. Thus, the CD’s title suggests the essence of the recording as a whole.
Also of particular note is the Harty in Ireland, whose Gallic charm is even more appealing with the harp than with the usual piano – wonderful.