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The Garden of Love


THUNDER BAY, ON  ----   August 18, 2012   ---- Summer recitals by visiting musicians can be some of the most rewarding. Erin BropheyThe recital played by Erin Brophey oboe and English horn, and Heather Morrison at the piano at St, Andrew’s Presbyterian church, Thunder Bay, Ontario,  on Friday night  was one of the gems of summer.

Her opening remarks “this is one of the few times I get to play for friends and people I know” summed up the intent of this recital. Musicians have a need to perform and in the off season there is little in the way of paid performance. At the same time the musicians have some time off from the busy winter season to learn and explore new music. Erin feels at home in Thunder Bay after spending 8 seasons with the TBSO she has also collaborated with many of her colleagues from the symphony to produce some great performances.

For this performance, Heather Morrison played the piano at St. Andrew’s. The opening movements of Telemann’s oboe concerto started the concert, in the hands of these two musicians this was truly a great start to the recital for friends.

There were some short solo pieces for Erin, some modern works were included on the programme including one with a taped accompaniment, “The Garden of Love” by Jacob T.V. , like the other modern compositions for oboe one by Britten and the other by G. Csapo the modern compositions added to the richness of her recital and it soon became apparent that Erin’s Garden of Love is a complicated affair. These new compositions had musical value and they also required a lot of talent on the part of the soloist pushing them to their limits.
The oboe in Erin’s hands is a very expressive instrument and this became truly apparent when Heather re-joined her for Three Romances for Oboe and piano by Robert Schumann. These well known pieces by Schumann came to life in a way that you only hear in a defining performance. The recital closed with the last two movements of the Telemann Concerto that started the programme. Bookends as it were.

This was not a performance for money although they deserved it. It was the result of a collaboration of two musicians Heather Morrison and Erin Bropheyexploring new music and each other’s musicality. In the Garden of Love the Love of Music is a must.

Recital such as this are not widely advertised. There is no budget to entice people to come, but friends and colleagues who know Erin and Heather know that this would be a good night out. Since the atmosphere is more relaxed I can appreciate that Erin has at least as much colour as her oboe, and the comments she made about the music revealed her thoughts about the pieces and her attempt to create a successful interpretation for the audience. Erin is a thoughtful, talented and personable musician and should you have the opportunity to hear her play in the future it will be interesting, well performed and definitely interesting.

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor:

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