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Thu, 12 Feb 2004 13:00:00 GMT

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Blissful baroque music

Last night I went to a concert at Llewellyn Hall, Canberra with the ensamble Salut! Baroque, and it was wonderful!

I had late last year gone to a concert with some locals trying to pull off some Bach, but couldn't play to save themselves. I somewhat enjoyed it, if nothing for the shere enthusiasm they had, but the music ... oh, dear.

But last night was different; the musicians were top-notch, from the soloists to the basso continuo. I was most impressed with Hans-Dieter Michatz for his amazing and emotional recorder playing, and Daniel Yeadon for his enthustiastic virtouso playing both cello and viola da gamba (one of my favourite instruments). Also noteworth was the steady hands of harpsichordist Chris Berensen and bass violinist Tim Blomfield.

In the violin section there was plenty of good, especially Nicole Forsyth had good strokes. It was just all in all a very, very good performance, with only a few skews from perfection (and given the nature of such old instruments, a feat in itself). I actually had tears in my eyes through a lot of it, not only for the beauty and love of this music, but for feeling that this wonderfulness is right here in Canberra, so many many miles away from home.

The program was pretty straight-forward, with Pachabels "Canon and Gigue in D minor" (ever a beautiful piece), Fux' "Sinfonia in F major", Bachs "Concerto for Viola in E flat major" (always a favourite), then a short interval, and onwards to Telemanns "Concerto for Recorder and Viola da gamba in A minor" (my personal favourite of the evening, brilliantly done by all, and especially soloists Michatz and Yeadon), then Bachs "Concerto for violin in A minor", and finally Telemanns "Concerto for two recorders in B flat major", another great piece.

If anyone is interested in these kind of things, Salut! Baroque will be back in Canberra at Llewellyn Hall friday 30 April with Handel, Friday 2 July with Lully, Friday 24 September with Corelli, and a "Classic Concerti" Thursday 18 November. Be sure to see me there.

To all the guys in Salut! Baroque; thank you.

Permalink (Thu, 12 Feb 2004 13:00:00 GMT)| Comments (5) | Reviews
Alia/ ( Thu, Feb 12 2004 )
I adore Pachelbel's Canon, we went to a concert last year where the City of Oxford Orchestra played that and a few other pieces by Bach which completely melted me, I had goosebumps on the back on my neck. I love string sections anyway, but to see them playing and these beautiful notes coming out is utterly enchanting.
Alex ( Thu, Feb 12 2004 )
One of my favourite tidbits is to listen to 'famous' pieces by early musicians (|/example: Allegri's 'Miserere Mei', Bach's Air, Mozart's 'Requiem', Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', and so forth|) played with original instruments and near-conteporary playing-style and setting. All that mush you think you know all of a sudden becomes fresh and new, and you get to understand a little bit about why they became famous in the first place.
In other words; some times we need to take a few steps back to go seriously forward.
Alia/ ( Fri, Feb 20 2004 )
Definitely agree with you there (first for me I think!)
The concert I went to last year included:
Vivaldi Concerto for Two Oboes
Elgar Salut d'Amour
Pachelbel Canon
Bach Concerto for Oboe d'Amour
Barber Adagio
Elgar Serenade for Strings
I especially loved the Elgar pieces. It was so evocative. So would all of these be considered Baroque? I'm not too familiar with the terms in classical music, just find myself enjoying it more and more as I get older...
Alex ( Mon, Feb 23 2004 )
Well, Elgar ain't Baroque, not by a long shot (he was born in the middle of the 19th century), but he did write stuff that use baroque characteristics. barber was born in the 20th century, and not baroque either. Baroque is in broad terms defined as from 1600 (Monteverdi) to 1750 (death of Bach and Handel).
Vivaldi, pachelbel and Bach are all Baroque, though.
Some say that listening to Baroque music makes you smarter, but I think I'm the proof that it ain'tet so.
Alia ( Tue, Feb 24 2004 )
damn, you said that before I did... ;)