The Cello and Piano Concerts
of Jan Škrdlík and Petra Besa
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Jan having me with his wit, often doubled up, laughter, which Petra equally inspired. Luck shone in the enthusiasm of David Fryer, Chairman of Truro 3 Arts Concert Society, and Iorwerth Pugh, Head of Music at Exeter College, gave to both events, which they masterminded brilliantly. En route I ensured they saw Dartmoor that at the River Dart had us spellbound, half an hour gazing at its deep brown and white swirling autumnal flood. Rhapsodic: as when, with their Moretonhaupstead hosts, Anne and David Faulkner, he played, at breakfast, his Border pipes so vividly. All their other hosts, Kirsten and Lars, Julia and Paul, Natasha and Matt, Alison and Adrian were such that Petra weeks later wrote: “The all time in England was absolutely increadible, as ‘fairytales-times’...nobody was afraid to share the truly emotions, which make us really human being.”
Thanks to the staunch band of helpers, Lindsay, Gilly, Tom (x2), Sylvain, and Anne, the recital became, after a moving introduction by his daughter Barbara Winton, one in memory of Sir Nicholas Winton who helped 689 Czech children to escape in 1938/9. Alan Crumpler came, from nearby Leominster, to do a magisterial recording which Jan later dubbed “something cosmic”. Last but not least piece of luck: not only cello instrument (Tononi 1770) but “increadible” sonority of the specially hired hand-made Fazioli piano hugely contributed to its greatness. Has the world ever felt, or heard, anything so coruscating, irridescent, glowing?