Our Daisy is partial to a bit of countertenor singing and this Wigmore Hall concert looked a bit different and interesting, so I booked it.
We quite like Monday night concerts at The Wig, not least because they are a darned good excuse (not that we need excuses) to take a Monday off.
Goodness knows where the Monday went…indeed where the whole weekend went, but there you go.
It started with a rather jazzed up version of one of Vivaldi’s well-known concerti. We thought the whole concert might be jazzed up, but in truth only that first piece was.
Then enter the countertenor, Xavier Sabata, who is a rather big and fearsome looking chap. Very dramatic delivery style. Wonderful voice.
The ensemble is Greek, of course, but Xavier Sabata is Catalan. He looked as though he might make a unilateral declaration of independence any moment and frankly no-one in the hall looked able to stop him if he were to do so.
Daisy got the sense that the ensemble were not in the best of moods, either with each other or their situation. That certainly didn’t reflect in their playing, which was excellent. Perhaps it was the multiple encores at the end that bothered them and left Daisy with that sense; George and Xavier might well have gone on for an extra half hour were it not for the Wigmore Hall aficionados calling time after the second encore.
It turns out that this line-up has recently recorded an album named Catharsis, basically a collection of these full-tilt countertenor arias.
Much as we very much enjoyed the concert, we weren’t motivated to buy the album, but it would be a good way to hear what this beautiful music sounds like if you weren’t at the concert.
We ate light after the concert, back at the flat; open smoked salmon sandwiches and a very jolly bottle of Austrian Riesling. Nothing baroque about the supper…unlike the delicious concert.