The Sounds for Summer classical music concert by identical twins Val and Julie Rutter, better known as Gemini, delivered a diverse program, kept a brisk pace and culminated in an amazing encore moment. The second in a series of summer concerts was held last Saturday amid the good acoustics of the Living Faith Lutheran Church in Davis Bay. It covered a wide range of popular classics, opening with the sprightly Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handel and continuing with pieces from Bach, Debussy, and a delicate Morning Mood by Grieg. It included a more modern Aria and Jazz Waltz composed by John Rutter, not Julie Rutter, as I had written in a previous article. That was my mistake, and the twins are not sure whether John is in the family tree or not. My bet is that he's related because his music entirely suits their style. The duo are extremely talented on piano, flute and recorder, though in this reviewer's opinion, their best combination occurred with Julie on flute and Val on piano. Along with their interpretation skills, one of their greatest assets is their ability to engage with their audience, a trait not always found in classical musicians. They invited the audience to learn more about the music and gave a brief explanation of their primitive instrument, the recorder, which they manipulated skillfully in some sixteenth century tunes.
The flute and piano combination worked well on a selection from Phantom of the Opera, then the twins closed with a dynamic piano duet, an extract from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. The audience, moved by the vigorous Gershwin piece, called for an encore. Gemini returned to the stage to play duet on the gentle favourite Edelweiss. As the audience recognized the song, a murmur of voices sang the well-known words, and then swelled into full chorus. It was a magical moment.
"Is that usual in classical concerts - for the audience to join in?" I asked Val Rutter after the show. Apparently, it had happened to them once before while on tour in California and they were very moved by the experience.
The next Sounds For Summer concert is on Aug. 6 when vocalist Wendy Humphreys appears with Julie Rutter. Tickets are at Talewind Books, Coast Books and at the door.