The eloquent flute
by Lisa Kong
The Straits Times, 19/12/89
A sizeable crowd converged in their finery at the Victoria Concert Hall last Tuesday for a musical evening featuring the Barcelona-born flautist, Ignatius Henderson.
A native of Spain, the 29-year-old musician’s trip to Singapore (to visit his paternal aunt, Mrs Wee Chong Jin, wife of Singapore’s Chief Justice), turned into a good oportunity for a fund-raising concert.
About $150.000 was raised for the Home Nursing Foundation, the Henderson Senior Citizen’s Home and the St John’s Ambulance Brigade.
Piano accompaniment was provided by professional musician Shane Thio and Singapore’s Attorney-General Tan Boon Teik.
One of the best items of the evening was Franz Doppler’s Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise for Flute and Piano, with smooth, clean sounds from Henderson who handled the many quick movements firmly.
The Temasek Ensemble, a local string group, made an appearance by opening the second half of the programme with Arcangelo Corelli’s charming Concerto Grosso.
The ensemble also provided the accompaniment for the final work, Mozart’s Concerto in G Major for Flute and Orchestra, which the flautist rendered in a sensitive and energetic manner.
After an evening of “celestial and ethereal” music, it was time to come down to earth for the warm and appreciative audience, among whom was the flautist’s father, the well-known, Hong Kong-based artist Gerard Henderson.
* Original article:
Artist flaunts his future
by Tim Wilson
South China Morning Post, 1985.
In a flute recital in the City Hall, aspiring artist Ignacio Henderson attracted a rather special audience.
A relative newcomer to both the instrument and the concert field, he is undoubtedly someone who has a future and should be watched carefully.
A native of Spain, he chose only one work by his fellow countryman, Eduard Toldra -a group of pieces based on the sonnets of Catalan poets.
This was a pity since there is, in fact, quite a diversity of Spanish music for the flute, especially from the 20th century and it would have been nice to hear an authentic performance of one of the challenging works of say, Roberto Gerhard.
As it was, the composition selected turned otu to be profoundly middle of the European road though picturesque in a kind of still-life fashion.
The Sonata or Paul Hindemith followed in a more abstract vein.
This effort from the great neo-classic master is a true duet, as fellow musician Manuel Sala (piano) made vibrantly clear and is precise both in its notation and musical intentions.
Mr Henderson made his intention to realise these requirements clear at all times, showing us that he has a true understanding of what we were supposed to hear.
This kind of musicianship is now rare in a world where there exists a multitude of excellent flautists.
The programme concluded with Cesar Franck’s customarily monumental Sonata in A Major.
This is, of course, a transcription of the famous violin work, authorised by the composer himself in one of his more optimistic moods.
In as much as the sound characteristics of the violin and the flute are almost diametrically opposed, the former being quite strong in the lower register and milder above, the latter rather piercing in the highs and almost inaudible at its low points and in as much as the piano part is rather heavily laden with resounding notes (though Mr Sala had these artfully under control), this is an exercise that is usually undertaken only by flautists possessed of an exceptionally powerful sonority matched by an equal degree of audacity.
Mr Henderson courageously took up this challenge with a romantic spirit that might well have satisfied Franck’s 19th century frame of reference.
We wish him well in his coming efforts in other parts of the globe.
* Original article: