For just the second time in ten years, coincidentally four months apart, Frome Concerts Group promoted a concert for the relatively unusual combination of violin and cello on Sunday 19th May, 2013 at it’s base, Rook Lane Chapel. Although there is little repertoire written specifically for this uncommon pairing there was little overlap in the programmes of these two concerts.

While Ensemble 360 players Ben Nabarro, violin and Gemma Rosefeld, cello interspersed duets with solo pieces in a generally light-hearted programme, Royal Academy fellows Marciana Buta, violin and Rebecca Herman, cello opted for a full on programme of duets, with works by Bach, Gliere and Kodaly.  Compelling heightened attentiveness from their audience, Buta and Herman launched into an exquisite rendition of four movements of Bach’s ‘Two Part Inventions’, immediately dispelling any notion that the sound world of these two instruments might sound thin or insubstantial to those more accustomed to string quartet playing.

The richness of the dialogue between violin and cello was, if anything, even more evident in the Gliere and Kodaly pieces. Here extraordinary demands were placed on the performers who delivered these virtuousic compositions with great style and panache. Between the notes communication was not only musical, but also visual with the fleeting smiles and encouraging glances that audiences so love to observe in live performance, suggestive of considerable enjoyment on the part of the performers themselves. The thunderous applause that demanded several ‘curtain calls’ was fully warranted by this marvellous performance.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Marcy and Rebecca’s duo to St George’s in Bristol, Wigmore Hall in London or other venues, festivals etc. Their commitment is 100% and they deserve to be widely heard (and seen).

Duncan Skene, Chairman of Frome Concerts Group, May 2013