Baroque In High Definition, Academy of Ancient Music, Wigmore Hall 25 September 2009

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.

Calefax, Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concert, 22 June 2009

After all the excitement of the cricket World Twenty20 finals yesterday,  we’d booked a day off the following day and a lunchtime concert at “The Wig”.

Calefax, the Dutch reed quintet, performing their (Raaf Hekkema’s) arrangement of the Goldberg Variations.

The concert was lovely. Different, but lovely.

It was a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert – not currently available on iPlayer at the time of writing but you never know unless you click here.

Still, if you want to hear a snippet, you need look no further than the Quodlibet below.

The English Concert, Wigmore Hall, 15 March 2009

Was this the first time we saw Mahan Esfahani? Probably.

Was this the first time we heard a composition by J G Goldberg (he of Goldberg variations fame)? For sure.

A delightful concert as always by this low key but consistently masterful lot.

Pretty much all you need to know on this one page

There’s a tiny bit more about it on – click here and skim to the correct date.

A very relaxing end to the weekend.

Xuefei Yang, Wigmore Hall, 6 February 2009

Even by our enthusiastic standards, three visits to the Wigmore Hall within three weeks is going some.

Xuefei Yang is a superb guitarist, though and this was a very interesting programme:

A real mixture of stuff.

We really liked all of it. And we really liked Xuefei Yang too.

This concert was a very relaxing end to (by the looks of it) a pretty full-on working week.

Emmanuel Pahud, Trevor Pinnock & Jonathan Manson, Wigmore Hall, 17 January 2009

A very beautiful, flute-based, baroque concert. What more could one ask for at the start of a new year – our first concert of 2009?

All three are excellent musicians and they played beautifully individually and together.

This is what they played:

We went home very happy – I suspect with some Ranoush shawarmas in our hands.

Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet, Italian Baroque Plus, Wigmore Hall, 19 July 2008

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.

Judging from their website activities page – click here – this appearance at the Wigmore Hall might have been the end of the story for this troupe, even if at the time of booking it might have seemed like a big break near their beginning.

The concert does have an instant encore listing, though, which I am delighted to link here, although (at the time of writing) I am the only person to confess to having been at the concert. I think there were quite a few of us in, but perhaps not the packed Saturday night the Wig and the quartet might have hoped for.

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.

Anyway, this concert got us all relaxed and suitably prepared for the following day’s battle playing cricket at Bentley.

The King’s Consort, Bach and Vivaldi Violin Concertos, Wigmore Hall, 31 December 2007

Kings Consort 31 Dec 2007

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.

David Greilsammer, Wigmore Hall, 12 October 2007

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.

Better yet, read the Classical Source Piece – click the picture

Anyway, this was a young musician concert and a very impressive young pianist is/was David Greilsammer. I can only find one preview of this concert – in the Telegraph – click here.

This review in Classical Source is enthusiastic and helpful – click here.


Academy of Ancient Music, Wigmore Hall, 20 June 2007

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.

We enjoyed it all well enough.


AAM 20 June 2007