Joy Lisney - reviews autumn 2010
14 Dec 2010
Woking`s music lovers packed out the H G Wells Suite on Saturday to attend Woking Symphony Orchestra`s November concert, at which the undoubted star attraction was 17-year-old cellist, Joy Lisney.
Joy, who played the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra, proved to be not just a teenage musician whose immature performance was applauded because of her youth and the fact that she had tried, but one who presented a mature and magical performance of this fiendishly difficult concerto with a calmness and skill that belied her tender years and that would leave many an established soloist feeling jealous of her extraordinary technique.
A slightly-built and unassuming schoolgirl in a Chinese Cheongsam blouse and simple black trousers, she played with a note-perfect assuredness and with a lyricism that left many audience members with damp eyes by the end of the performance, some of whom were on their feet applauding.
Already hailed as `the new Jacqueline Du Pre` at the age of seven, Joy is indeed a star in the making - if not, indeed, already fully fledged.
Woking is fortunate to have an orchestra of the calibre of WSO in its midst, and one that can attract such fine soloists as the likes of Joy Lisney.
Susan Bennett - Surrey Advertiser
Dame Emma Kirkby, James and Joy Lisney at the Red Hedgehog
This was an extraordinary occasion. The evening shimmered. The music-making was consummate. For a start, the programme had translucent variety. An evening of song ranged from Haydn to Stravinsky. The soprano sang joyously and the cello sang lyrically. Its multicolour and melody had the air of a Schubertiade gathering, among friends.
Further, there was the calibre of the artists - a rare meeting of true musicians. We had the pure, self-possessed and delicate tones of one of Englandís most honoured and experienced singers. Dame Emma Kirkby - departing from Elizabethan and Jacobean territory - gave us Haydnís moving and magisterial cantata. It has supple seriousness, turning in due course to poignant, soaring lament. She then demonstrated - with lightness and ease - less well-known skills in Debussy and florid exuberance in the arresting songs (settings in French and German) of Amy Beach.
With just as much pleasure, we heard the flowering artistry of Joy Lisney. She is still in her teens, beginning her career, continuing her studies no doubt and yet playing with an aplomb and rapport, a definition and vitality, an insight and ardour that many cellists better known and more experienced would do well to honour. Her sensitive musicianship was manifest. Her lyricism was uplifting and haunting. Her abrasive vitality in Suite Italienne was sensational. (A little more panache would have left me even happier.)
The Chopin was a revelation. It is not often played - and twice, in the last four years, I have heard a virtuoso pianist drown the celloís softer voice. Not so at The Red Hedgehog.
This was clearly a true partnership between cello and piano - just as it was a truly living partnership between father and daughter [a fact I feel bound to stress because it contributed so significantly to the close understanding shown in this particular performance]. James Lisney - no mean virtuoso - accompanied Joy with a vigour and discretion of the utmost musicianship. As a result, the long first movement was an impressive success, a momentum derived from the discipline of Chopinís eloquent intellect, especially clearly delineated, here. Moments of counterpoint, for example - places where the piano so easily pounds the cello into background obscurity - had exemplary delicacy and clarity, allowing the subtlety of Chopinís inspiration to shine forth.
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