Amalthea Duo

‘The Amalthea Duo are Klio Blonz on Flute and Siobhan Swider on Harp and between them they have an impressive pedigree of repertoire and performance experience.

 

Their mixed choice for the music on offer was inspiring, taking us on a well-balanced and nuanced journey from the 15th century up to the modern day and swinging into traditional Welsh folk song, Portuguese dances and some exquisite refined raga’s from Ravi Shankar.  The raga’s offering the audience a peep into the wonderful dextrous playing and sophisticated staccato and legato techniques of this talented duo and seeing the subtle expressiveness of the music combine with its tempo and stance was very interesting.

 

There was a lovely modern offering from Ludovico Einaudi, familiar to most of the audience, which lulled me (and the baby behind me) into a dozy contemplative state and some snappy Bizet played with panache and perfect tempo and ending with Chopin’s take on La Cenerentola’s scintillating rondo which seemed to please the pair of players as much as the audience.

 

The Amalthea Duo are part of the festival’s month long lunchtime concerts highlighting up and coming international stars of the classical music world’

 

Eric Page , Brighton Festival , 9th of May 2016 

R E V I E W S

‘Amalthea in Greek mythology means 'tender goddess'. Well the Amalthea Duo certainly nurtured the mesmerised audience at the Dome Theatre, Brighton Festival. Refreshingly, the artists were not afraid to take a few moments in introducing the audience to the narrative around the chosen pieces. This added a welcome dimension to the significance of the pieces as well as drawing the audience ever closer to the enigmatic musicians. The chosen pieces were complex and vivacious but performed with a tenderness and grace that was both alluring and enthralling. The Amalthea Duo share a magical quality that transcends the open and receptive listener to a unique and ethereal place.’

 

Marko Grizzianti on Brighton Festival 2016

"I first heard the Amalthea Duo perform at St. Luke’s Church, Brighton last year.I was very impressed by their beautiful sound and sensitive playing which ”invited” me into listening intently to each piece. I use the word invited as there is never any sense of notes being forced from the flute and harp which would result in ugliness of tone on the flute and percussive sounds on the harp. Instead appropriate gradations of volume and expressivity are employed such that the performance draws me in by its subtlety.

 

After the concert I asked if I could compose a piece for them. Flute and Harp Sketches was the result of this collaboration which they premiered earlier this year in Devon. I have subsequently written an alto flute piece and a piccolo piece for Klio Blonz.

 

They are wonderful musicians to work with and contributed a great deal to the final form of these pieces with their thoughtful comments and awareness of how important subtle nuances of colour, volume, and rhythmic ebb and flow are in the performance of my music.

 

I attended their Brighton Festival concert in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre on May 9th. The performance of John Thomas’s “Watching the Wheat” based on a Welsh folksong was very moving and Siobhan Swider’s playing weaved glittering, warm sonorities throughout this harp solo capturing the melancholic mood of the music perfectly. Similarly, Klio Blonz’s performance of La Folia d’ Espagne by Marin Marais (a theme and variations) was very fine. The virtuosic demands of the piece were negotiated with ease and subtle accenting of notes within the variations made clear the relationship of each variation to the original theme. I highlight these two pieces as they display the great abilities of each musician as a soloist.

 

As a duo their music making is magical.”  

 

Barry Mills  / Composer

"Excellent - great programme and beautiful performed. 

I want them back here!"

 

ARTSREACH  / Promoter 2015

"Musicians were fabulous. A fantastic evening enjoyed by an appreciative audience"

 

ARTSREACH  / Promoter 2015

"The performance was excellent and much enjoyed by everyone"

 

Villages in Action  / Promoter 2016

"What a treat your concert was! It was a wonderful final event to our 2016 Series and we were delighted to be able             to bring AMALTHEA to these rural parts. Thank you for an enchanting performance, we hope you will come back!"

 

DEVERILLS Festival 2016

" Fast-rising AMALTHEA is Klio Blonz, flute and Siobhan Swider, harp. .....Blonz performed CPE Bach's solo flute Sonata in A Minor, a Rococco piece where the flute's arabesques fit flush with an age. Like Swider, Blonz is a high colourist, these were rapt intervals. She is also an explorer, quoting Cavafy's poem 'Ithaka' about journeys as the theme. AMALTHEA go for what you should know and don't and what you can't as it was written yesterday.

......

Vivaldi's duo Sonata was richly introverted with catchy brilliance in its finale. Einaudi's Le Onde with its gentle post Nino Rota screen-tunefulness would have enhanced The Hours."

 

Dr Simon Jenner / St Luke's Concert Series 2016