The Dussek Duo opened the new season of South Holland Concerts in Spalding last Saturday with a programme made up of famous and lesser known composers.
Organist Douglas Hollick and harpist Eleanor Turner stirred their audience with works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as Louis Spohr, Adrien Boieldieu and Czech composer Jan Dussek after whom the duo are named.
The popularity of the concert at South Holland Centre last September could best be judged by the number of fascinated people who took the chance, both during the interval and at the end, to see the instruments which were the real stars of the evening.
They consisted of an 1820 double-action harp, originally ordered by Madame la Comtesse de Genlis for her pupil Alfred Lemaire, and an 1809 Broadwood grand pianoforte similar to one owner by Beethoven.
The concert itself was a treat for followers of early music, as well as a voyage of discovery when Doouglas revealed how the instruments and programme formed an “intriguing cobweb of connections,” one of which was Dussek’s friendly rivalry with Haydn.
Even fans of TV’s Downton Abbey were catered for, especially when Eleanor said the Dussek Duo had “transported the most posh and elegant drawing room” onto the South Holland Centre.
Each instrument had its solo moment, the pianoforte played for Haydn’s Variations in F minor (Un Piccolo Divertimento or A Little Enjoyment) and the harp during Spohr’s Variations on “Je suis encore dans mon printemps (I’m still in my spring).”
The other items were duets with harp and pianoforte which ended with Nicholas Charles Bochsa’s appropriately named Duo pour Harpe et Piano.
Douglas and Eleanor’s expertise and passion for their craft set up the season nicely for I Flautisti, the next concert at South Holland Centre on November 9 at 7.30pm.