An artist's impression

Flamboyant, arresting, lucid. The young cellist Richard Jenkinson gave a theatrical performance at his Wigmore Hall debut. By Robert Cowan

Tall, demonstrative, with blond flowing locks and a wide repertoire of theatrical gestures, 25-year-old cellist Richard Jenkinson personifies the earnest young virtuoso. His Monday debut recital at the Wigmore Hall saw him brandishing his bow, raising his left hand whenever he played an open string and gazing towards the roof light, deep in reverie. It was like seeing an "artist's impression" come to life. Martinu was originally to have opened the show, but changed places with Schumann at the last minute. The lovely Drei Fantasiestucke were treated to a lucid, though somewhat stylised, interpretation, suavely shaped rather than particularly lyrical.

The Latvian-born American pianist Robert Kulek offered Jenkinson a discreet accompaniment, but made a far stronger impression in Martinu's Third Sonata (1952), a glorious piece, out-going, sun-drenched (the opening movement especially) and with an upbeat, bluesy finale that would make fine "encore" material in its own right. Here both Jenkinson and Kulek captured the spirit of the piece to a tee - more so, perhaps, than in Debussy's late Cello Sonata, where, although fairly responsive to play and caprice (Jenkinson is a dab hand at characterful pizzicatos), they didn't quite connect with the first movement's interior musings.

After the interval, Jenkinson scaled down his handsome (though occasionally discoloured) tone to admirable effect for Martin Ellerby's Epitaph IV: Lux Aeterna (Lidice), a touching meditation that recalled the wartime Czechs' brave attempt to assassinate "Reichsprotektor" Reinhard Heydrich and the Nazis' revenge killing of a whole village. Ellerby had visited a church where, as he himself explained (in his own programme note), "Heydrich's assailants were finally tracked and killed"; he imagined the last two survivors trapped in a room and looking towards a narrow shaft of light - so it may be that recollections of Debussy's "Cathedrale engloutie" (most apparent in the opening measures) weren't entirely accidental. The closing moments were especially poignant in their veiled acknowledgement of light within a context of terrible darkness.

Brahms came next, his E minor Sonata, a fairly robust reading that was somewhat short on inflectional variety from the cellist and tonal weight from the pianist.

The recital's official last item, however, found Jenkinson and Kulek enjoying themselves with Buxton Orr's ingenious A Carmen Fantasy, a dazzling array of themes from Bizet's opera (just about every one you could think of) slipped into a variety of roles, from main melody to accompaniment and passage-work (Escamillo made an especially sly entrance). It was all Robert Cohen's idea, prompted by the violin Carmen Fantasy that Franz Waxman wrote for Heifetz.

Jenkinson relished every bar and so did the audience - which made an encore inevitable. But rather than string together two or three brief pot-boilers, Jenkinson returned us to Martinu with a substantial - though still light-hearted - set of Variations on a theme of Rossini. It was a brilliant, bizarre affair that responded well to Jenkinson's flamboyant stage personality.

His manner is arresting, his technique potentially accommodating: give him time to mellow, and he'll surely become a significant presence in our musical life.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam