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Austria: Music & Majesty
'Mother and daughter are a classic duo'
   Eric Tallett - Burnley Express 19th December

NO-ONE is more devoted to the aim of making live classical songs available to Burnley and Lancashire than the mother and daughter duo of Brenda and Helena Kean.

Their latest presentation had its origin in a visit to Austria and resulted in a performance of lieder by Austrian and German composers at the Burnley Mechanics, which was memorable and hugely enjoyable.

Their previous recital had shown us terra incognita, the songs of Ottorino Respighi, i.e. the rarest of the rare, but this time it was just the opposite, nearly everything in the programme was familiar and we had lots of other performances in our memories with which to compare the golden mezzo soprano voice of Helena.

She was accompanied at the piano by the experienced Graham Jackson who deftly followed the several changes in musical style as the different composers were presented.

Brenda does not sing but is the mainspring of the outfit and provides an original interval attraction of quality colour slides, in this case showing us Vienna and Salzburg.

The first half comprised three groups of songs, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann the composers, a welcome chance to hear old friends like "Du bist die Ruh" by Schubert and "Du Ring an meinem Finger" by Schumann.

Helena is a linguist and always sings in the original language, with her own translations included in the programme.. The rapport between her and the pianist is always complete and together they enthralled us the whole evening.

To complete this lovely bouquet from the lieder tradition we were to hear in the second half the "Three Lieberslieder" by Richard Strauss (this a bit less familiar), the "Four Ruckert Lieder" by Gustav Mahler and finally a group by Hugo Wolf.

What more could we have asked?. It was a truly wonderful evening.