by Rachel Beaumont

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Words cannot express: Thomas Dunford at the Wigmore Hall

Thomas Dunford
Works for lute by Dowland, Kapsberger and Dalza
Wigmore Hall
20 April 2017
Stalls D5, £5 under-35 ticket

Thomas Dunford moved me to tears in all the right ways. He played almost continuously for more than an hour, on his own, without music, sitting simply with his lute (an early model for the Dowland with a soft, sweet sound; for the Kapsberger and the Dalza a more Baroque version with lower range and richer notes). As far as I could see he played not a single wrong note nor had a single lapse of memory. The music had a fragility in its quietness but within that delicacy Dunford nourished a sinuous and vibrant core, cherished and fed in a way that was unspeakably beautiful. He unfolded the music's enchanting harmonic journeys with a simple naturalism that also had his own idiosyncratic style, a chief feature of which were daringly long pauses before the most poignant changes in direction. And then he was joined by Iestyn Davies for the encore. In terms of chamber recitals, it doesn't get any better than this.

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