Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Some clarinetists seem to carve out musical phrases with crisp, rapier-like slices. Georgina Dobree, who performed at the National Gallery Sunday night, is not one of these. When she plays, the shape of the lines instead seem to be extruded from the instrument. One is first aware of the flow and plasticity of the music as it emerges and only later do the details and the rhythmic subtleties become evident.
Each half of her program opened with big romantic pieces, Schummann's "Phantasiestrcke" at the beginning the Brahms E-flat major sonata after intermission. These received the most meticulous musical attention and graceful expression.
The rest of the profram, devoted to music by 20th-century British composers, was a nicely varied sampling.
Ian Hamilton's three noctures projected mystical, diabolical and tranquil feelings as they were meant to, articulate in a conservative idiom.
Elisabeth Lutyens, in "This Green Tide" (commissioned by Dobree and given its first U.S. performance here) has been able to accomodate a serial technique to an expressively romantic context and to do it powerfully. And John Ireland's "Fantasy Sonata," undemanding in its bucolic rambling, provided a chance to enjoy the performing without having to listen too hard to the music.
Pianist Gary Kirpatrick accompanied with considerable flair.