This morning we were off up to London for another of William Bennett’s flute masterclasses. The repertoire was pretty standard, and the only work I hadn’t heard before was Philippe Gaubert’s Sonata No. 1. It ended up being my standout piece of the day – it’s stunning and was also played beautifully by masters student Katy Ovens. I’m rather tempted to see whether Trevor might let me have a go for the February piano masterclass!
As always, Wibb was an engaging and energetic teacher, whose use of little sung phrases (many of them rather naughty!) to show musical direction and emphasis had everyone in fits of laughter. Musical direction and musical intent were the themes of the day, and every note had to fulfill its proper place in the musical line. Expressive breathing was also key – even if a breath isn’t needed, it should be felt if the musical sentence needs it.
In the afternoon, Wibb seemed to become even more animated, breaking out into some impromptu dancing on not one but two occasions. The Allegro movement of J.S. Bach’s E major sonata was a jazzy Charleston – all the syncopation needs to be felt and played upon. Wibb’s Charleston itself was also quite impressive! Then the final work of the day was Paul Taffanel’s Mignon Fantasy, whose gavotte Wibb danced to show how light and flexible the tempo needs to feel.
Good coffee at St Pancreas Station, lunch with some lovely friends at the Royal College, and arriving home to Elmsted to find some faint traces of snow made for a nice day, though am hoping our dairy will warm up a little overnight!