It takes a lot to be a successful musician. One needs to be a brilliant performer to begin with, but she or he must be a good communicator to build a rapport with the audience. She or he must be an excellent presenter of their own art, must have a charming personality to appeal to the audience, and be efficient with a promoter like me! I felt today’s performer Emma Halnan satisfied and ticked all these boxes.

The programme by flautist Emma Halnan and pianist Daniel King Smith offered a tightly-packed delight, including two pieces that were written for them. Bach’s Flute Sonata in E flat featured the musicians’ effortless harmony with co-ordination between the playful piano with a delightfully light touch and the flute’s joyful singing tone. The dreamy, swinging, and intertwiningly dynamic performance of Sancan’s Sonata added spice to the concert.

Rarely have we come across an opportunity to hear the solo flute, but here we were. The skippingly jovial Polka theme changed into many different forms, all performed with momentum and super articulation.

Sir Karl Jenkin’s composition, written for Emma and Dan, was a musical reflection on the Welsh countryside at Ryders Down. The performance expressed scenic views and nature noises such as whistles, echoes and wind through astonishingly varied sound making.

For the last piece, it was a bonus that composer James Francis Brown was in the audience. We very much appreciated his short speech revealing some very interesting hidden episodes! Beautifully performed with full conviction, the work stretched the flute’s capacity to the maximum, to which Emma responded fantastically and created a thrilling sound world. The duo-ship was natural and seamless, rhythmically tossing-and-receiving effortlessly, always complimenting each other.

To conclude the Breinton year of 2019 was a beautiful melody of Faure’s Morceau de Concours.