Sweet Sounds fill The Lyric Theatre

Wednesday night, you might’ve heard Granity fall silent, while we held our collective breath in awe for two internationally acclaimed artists. And as the lights dimmed, Cathy Irons on violin, accompanied by Dan Robertson on keyboard, opening with Gershwin’s timeless ‘Oh Lady be good’, all souls in attendance were uplifted and carried away.

Another Gershwin classic ’Summertime’ lead into latino folk with ‘Besame Mucho’ and ‘Our Spanish Love Song’. Cathy dazzled and delighted the audience with ‘Pizzicato Paradise’, plucked on a viola. Dan got our feet tapping to a bossanova tune that grabbed our hearts and refused to let go.

We were witness to compositions not merely played but conveyed - the piano and violin reaching a conversational exchange, a delightful sonic tango showcasing the harmonic talents of a brilliant, gifted duo.

Dan then moved to our tired, disused, upright piano and brought it back to life with ‘Jealousy Gypsy Tango’, as Cathy weaved through the crowd that had gathered near for a closer look.

The second half of the concert was a tapestry of haunting, ancient melodies interspersed with jazz classics, a seismic selection of wondrous tunes reimagined and recited by heart, effortlessly as though plucked from thin air.

In a serendipitous turn of events, Abigail, one of Dan Robertson’s students from Christchurch was in the audience, having seen the concert poster at display outside the theatre a mere hour before opening and was delighted to assist as page turner for the final 6-page piece ‘Libertango’ by Astor Piazzolla which brought all attendees to their feet in a standing ovation.

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As always, we simply weren’t ready for the show to end and after a few cries of ‘Encore’, Cathy and Dan delivered with Vitorio Monti’s ‘Czardas’ to gently round off a thoroughly splendid evening with the familiar, sweet and beautiful tune.

Thank you to Cathy Irons, Dan Robertson and those who came from Granity, Westport and beyond to share in this unique experience.

The Lyric Theatre was built for nights such as these.