Matthew McAllister

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Although the focus for most on Saturday would have been Six Nations rugby union, St Pauls’ Cathedral, Dundee, had its own Five Nations but of a musical not a sporting theme. Music from composers from Argentina, Germany, Brazil, France and Spain were on show, courtesy of Matthew McAllister ( guitar) and Aisling Agnew ( flute). In this, Matthew’s role was more of a supportive accompanist, leaving the limelight to Aisling. This she took full advantage of with a perfect display of phrasing, tone and control. 

The high standard of performance started off with the Argentinian Astor Piazzolla’s Bordel, but it was the next work that made me sit up and take notice, J.S.Bach’s Sonata in E minor. The alternating tempi of the movements were beautifully played, with Aisling’s splendid tone shining out particularly in the adagios. The fast movements were a series of brilliant semi-quaver passages, flawlessly played. 
A switch from Bach’s Germany to three movements perpetual by Poulenc, via a street song from the Brazilian Muchado, did little to interrupt the flowing musical quality, before the concert ended with one of the most virtuosic works on the concert repertoire, the Carmen Fantasia. The Spanish flamenco touch was there through Matthew’s guitar, but it was Aisling’s spectacular performance of a host of Bizet melodies that stood out in spectacular style. I had heard this many times played by solo violin, but it is just as impressive for flute, especially with a flautist of this standard. “

Gary Fraser 2007