REVIEW BY Simon Machin
Aurora Duo, Emma Halnan and Heather Wrighton, Horsham Music Circle concert review - Saturday 23rd November - The Unitarian Church, Horsham
The warm and resonant acoustic of the Unitarian Church, Horsham, witnessed to the fact at the Horsham Music Circle concert on November 23rd 2019 that the union of harp and flute is a marriage made in heaven. This conclusion was helped immeasurably by the fine playing of the Aurora Duo, featuring Emma Halnan on flute and Heather Wrighton on harp, young musicians who have been performing together since 2010 when they met whilst both studying at The Royal Academy of Music. In a programme featuring the varied stylistic approaches of five living British composers, the gallic finesse of Saint-Saens and Debussy and technically knowledgeable works by flautist-composer William Alwyn, the Duo demonstrated a hair-trigger responsiveness between instruments which could only result from many hours of playing together.
The deftly chosen programme amply demonstrated why composers have often chosen to combine these instruments, with Emma Halnan revelling in the virtuosic possibilities of the flute and Heather Wrighton exploiting the tonal range of the harp from the subtlest of timbres to dazzling glissandi. All works demonstrated the deep and generous musicality of the Duo, powerfully evoking visual images of nature or a magical sense of movement, and leaving the audience delightedly entranced.