Budapest Wind Ensemble/ Kalman Berkes

 

THE Larkin Theatre at Dublin City University, home of a new concert series, is a lecture theatre. It's a lecture theatre in terms of appearance, in terms of sound and, also, in terms of comfort.

Yet, with music making as engrossing as that offered by Kalman Berkes and his Budapest Wind Ensemble last night, it's a thoroughly viable concert venue.

The dryness of the acoustic proved less of a hindrance in music for wind ensemble than it would be in many other areas, of the repertoire. Wind music, after all, is resilient enough to survive even out door performance, and, as a group of wind practitioners the Budapest ensemble is about as good as you'll get.

These Hungarians somehow manage to combine the unity of a single musical mind with the diversity of expression of nine personalities. Yet their adaptability to music of contrasting style is breathtakingly acute. The DCU concert was among the most enjoyable I have heard them give, with a rewardingly chunky performance of Mozart's C minor Serenade at the heart of the programme.

The Weber Rondo, in particular, was deliciously deft and the final short encore by Weiner, with Kalman Berkes standing to play the dizzying solo clarinet part, was a minor miracle of virtuosic insouciance. A real musical treat.