I love a bit of Corelli under almost any circumstances, but these adaptations of Op 5 concertos for the recorder have an especially soulful and melancholy timbre.
In the absence of Janie, I snapped up one of the CDs during the interval, as I was so sure she’d love the sound, which she did. We still both listen to this recording rather a lot. Indeed we are listening to it as I type.
It isn’t all that often that book to go to the Wigmore Hall on my own. But I really liked the look of this concert and Janie really didn’t fancy a special trip into town on a Monday evening, even for the Wigmore Hall. She was, at that time, normally still working long Monday clinics at her place.
The diary suggests I had worked a long day myself that day, ending up at Lord’s late afternoon, perhaps for a meeting about the Middlesex business plan. I’ll guess that it was the day of the AGM and that I therefore skived the Middlesex AGM that year for this concert.
What dedication to the early music cause and oh boy was it worth it.
The upshot of Janie missing out on this one was probably, in the longer term, good news. Since then, if I say that I shall nevertheless go alone to a concert that I really fancy, Janie usually then relents and agrees to come with me.
The conceit of this tasty concert was to play baroque music that has been used in movies in the last 25 years.
It would have made little difference to us had we remained ignorant of the movie link, but possibly the conceit helped to pull in an audience, not that the Academy of Ancient Music needs much help at the Wigmore Hall on a Friday evening. Perhaps it helped the night before in Cambridge.
Richard Egarr has a very pleasant manner, as do the named soloists for this gig.
This is what we heard:
Just what the doctor ordered after a hard week’s work. Or under any circumstances really.
Janie likes a bit of sax. So a quartet of saxophonists playing Italian Baroque at the Wigmore hall seemed right up our street.
At the time of writing, I have had a more recent sax quartet experience – click here – having retained only a vague memory of having seen a sax quartet before. This Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet experience was it.
Which is all a shame, as they were rather good, as was their interesting choice of music. I remember them describing their instruments and the pieces they were playing rather well.
I seem to recall that the baroque pieces did more for us than the modern ones. I also recall feeling that saxophone might not be the ideal instrument for baroque music – all sentiments that returned to me when I saw the Ferio Quartet at SJSS in December 2016 – click here.
We’d made a bit of a tradition of going to the new years eve concert at the Wigmore Hall and see in the new year quietly at the flat if we liked the look of the concert. We certainly liked the look of this one when we booked it, many months before.
Between us booking it and the concert date, Robert King of the eponymous King’s Consort was jailed for indecent assault. Unaccustomed as we were to such occurrences in our favourite baroque ensembles, we wondered what might happen to our concert. It turned out that Matthew halls, the harpsichordist, took over as the director temporarily and would lead our concert.
It all felt a bit odd and of course the programme was silent on the matter of Robert King’s absence, but still it was a good concert if I recall correctly. I can’t find any reviews and the Wigmore Hall archive stubs don’t go back that far. But they are a very accomplished group of musicians and they attract some top notch soloists, so the quality of the performances wasn’t really a surprise.