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.
This concert was sponsored by the Tabor Foundation, so Janie and I went along and hoity-toitied with Michael and Doreen Tabor, plus Angela Broad and I think Catriona Oliphant was also there that evening.
I’m not sure why we feel this way, but we sense something a little cliquey and clinical about the Academy of Ancient Music – perhaps it is the corporate-style branding.
The music of course is beautiful. Not quite sure why I chose this particular serving of fairly standard baroque concert fare, especially on an inconvenient Wednesday night for Janie. I think I might have been itching to hear the BWV1042 violin concerto live and wondering about Locatelli.