18.05.2018 in Heywood Civic Centre by KOSMOS
A Review by Graham Marshall
KOSMOS consists of two musicians, Harriet Mackenzie (Violin) and Milos Milivojevic (Accordion) whose partnership is still in the making, but who are already delighting audiences around the world with their individual interpretation of both classical and folk music.
They promise “Wild gypsy fiddling, emotive Jewish and Greek music ….. hot-blooded tango…….Japanese, Polish and Sephardic songs with new, unique arrangements …… Bach, Brahms and Sarasarte.….…….”. And that is just what they delivered, with sustained and dazzling virtuosity, to the members of the audience in the Heywood Civic Centre on Friday, 18 May, who found themselves enthralled by an experience of music-making that was as compelling as it was out-of-the-ordinary. “Come again!”, was the vocal response of one of them as the concert came to its close - a sentiment clearly agreed by the rest.
Even the most exceptionally gifted violinists can struggle to play at the very top of their instrument’s range. Harriet Mackenzie ventured up there a lot, and made it sound easy to produce full-throated sounds, warm and resonant and at great speed. She has many tricks of the trade in her repertoire and she will continue to astound audiences by displaying them, is she can maintain the level of execution she reached for us in Heywood.
The accordionist, who introduced his Italian instrument as a ‘portable organ’ with the potential for imitating the sounds of many different instruments, provided an almost orchestral accompaniment. There may have been those among the audience who came with little idea of what a modern accordion is capable of doing in the hands of an expert like Milos. They will have been not only surprised but probably completely blown away by the range of sounds he was able to produce, and the way in which he was able to layer those sounds to produce a rich and colourful texture beautifully complementing the tonal qualities of the violin.
It is difficult to compliment Kosmos too highly on they way they have succeeded in their intention to provide, by their venture into musical performance based on scholarly research and personal gifts of insight, a new kind of concert experience to be enjoyed and remembered by those privileged to experience it.
The Rochdale Music Society’s 2018-19 Concert Series will begin on Saturday, 10 November, with the return of pianist Alexander Soares, who will be playing music by Beethoven, Ravel and Albeniz in what promises to be an virtuoso display of pianism not to be missed by anyone who loves piano music at its very best.