Groupe Lacroix, B of I Arts Centre

 

{TABLE} Kailash.................... Michael Schneider 7 Bagatelles.................... Christian Henking Tombal.......................... Marianne Schroeder Berceuse.........................Michael Baumgartner Leave it in Limbo............... John Wolf Brennan Capriccio........................John Wolf Brennan Images Perdus....................Jean-luc Darbellay {/TABLE} LAST Thursday's lunchtime concert in the Bank of Ireland "Mostly Modern" series, given at the bank's arts centre in Foster Place, Dublin, featured the work of Groupe Lacroix. This is a loose grouping of composers resident in Switzerland, and six of the seven composers represented were at the concert. There were just two performers, Eva Schwaar, who showed unobtrusive skill with demanding piano parts, and Olivier Darbellay, who was equally skilled on both cello and horn.

Michael Schneider's Kailash (horn and piano) is an impression of the mountain sacred to Hindus and Buddhists. Small chains inside the piano produce evocative sonorities.

Tombal by Marianne Schroeder treats the piano and cello similarly, as they accumulate dense material during a rather obvious procedure. Irish-born John Wolf Brennan was represented by two pieces, Capriccio (piano) and Leave it in Limbo (horn). Both are neatly crafted, and the latter proved memorable for its use of a slow horn line to produce vibrations from a piano whose sustaining pedal was wedged down. Then there was Michael Baumgartner's Berceuse, which "incorporates snatches of children's songs to make an eerie lullaby.

I found that the most absorbing pieces were Christian Henking's 7 Bagatelles (piano) and Jean-luc Darbellay's Images Perdus (cello and piano). Like some late-Beethoven bagatelles, each of Henking's concentrates on one distinctive idea, and works it out in a texture strong in part writing. Images Perdus uses just three notes as a landmark -to which short episodes never fully established return. Its sure sense of idea, contrast and form made the strongest impression in the concert.