Concert Review – Illumina at St Martin-in-the-Fields

Ellie Lovegrove and Richard Moore form the trumpet and organ duo Illumina. At their St-Martin-in-the Fields concert on February 12th they demonstrated an extraordinary range of textures and sonorities in their performance of Tobjorn Hultmark’s Tryptik and their recent commission: Five Poems by Paul Burke.

Through these works Illumina demonstrated the vast sound world accessible to the trumpet and organ combination and explored the far reaches of this world masterfully. In Hultmark’s Tryptic dense chordal structures with the trumpet effortlessly soaring above alternated with passages of gossamer-like lightness and fluidity. In Paul Burke’s Five Poems we experienced still more tone colours through the use of mutes, creating, for example magical Mahlerian sonorities in the third movement The Lighted City is Dark.

Illumina are innovative on many fronts. They are providing a platform for talented young composers through their commissioning of high quality contemporary music, through these commissions they are opening up a new sound world for composers to explore, and also, as one of the UKs finest young brass players, Ellie Lovegrove is blazing a trail for female trumpeters in a largely male-dominated world.

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