Zum Konzert am 29. Oktober 1971 in London

The Times, 1. November 1971

Fischer-Dieskau / Rampal

Festival Hall

The Festival Hall has not always seemed a happy home for the intimate medium of chamber music, but Fischer-Dieskau and Rampal, while maintaining the intimacy of the eighteenth century, managed on Friday to invest their choice of cantatas and sonatas with so much ease that the hall seemed happily reduced in size. Even Robert Veyron-Lacroix’s deft harpsichord support was not overwhelmed by the surroundings.

The evening’s centrepiece was a highly inventive cantata, Ihr Völker hört, by Telemann that belied his wallmaper-music image. Two flowing, elevated arias, in which the singer varied his tone and articulation with all his customary skill, were separated by an inspiriting recitative that in variety of colour and vivid word-painting looks forward to the Haydn of The Creation. Fischer-Dieskau was in his element depicting the varied praise of God. In both the arias Rampal’s bright, smooth flute playing vied with the baritone’s singing in finesse.

Rampal having figuratively crossed the border to play Telemann. Fischer-Dieskau returned the compliment in tackling Rameau’s cantata, Thétis.

The untiring flautist played in every item on the programme. On his own he gave enjoyable, highly individual accounts of sonatas by Blavet, Bach and Vivaldi. The slow movements were all limpid elegance, the faster ones - sometimes almost, too rapid even for Rampal - nimbleness personified.

Alan Blyth

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