Richard Egarr, Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concert, 9 January 2017

From the ridiculous to the sublime. A delightful concert of early music. Richard Egarr on the harpsichord with English music spanning the late 16th to late 17th century; Byrd, Purcell and Blow.

After our ill-fated Friday evening of avant-garde jazz, from a doyen of the free (or in this case BOGOF – buy one get one free) jazz movement – click here – the Richard Egarr was to be just the ticket.

There was one small problem though; a tube strike. In the interests of practicality and sanity, I put my principled doubts about Uber to one side, down-loaded the app and organised transport through Uber.  The transport only cost a little more than the concert tickets that way.

But we got there and I’m so glad we went.

Once we were at the Wigmore Hall, the music transported us to a happy place without any difficulty.

This was the first Radio 3 Lunchtime concert of the year at the Wigmore Hall. Sara Mohr-Pietsch came on the stage to explain how it works to the live audience and started her little spiel by saying, “hello and good afternoon to both of you”, seeming to address the remark to me and Daisy in the front row.

Perhaps she realised what an effort we in particular had made to get from W3 to W1 on a strike day. Seriously, the hall was pretty much full, so I suppose Sara meant to say “all of you”. Her spiel got better after that.

The audience doesn’t get to hear her radio introductions, so I struggled to work out exactly which piece was which and exactly when Richard Egarr’s short breaks were taking place, until I listened again again on iPlayer.

Which reminds me to tell you, if you get to this Ogblog article quickly enough, you don’t have to take our word for it how lovely this concert sounded.

It is to be rebroadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 15 January 2017 at 13:00, or you can catch it on the iPlayer radio thingie – for another three or four weeks – click here or below. At the very least you should be able to get more information about the concert on these links even if you miss the 30 day licence window to listen in.

 

 

 

The Bach Dynasty: JS Bach’s Forebears, Academy of Ancient Music, Wigmore Hall, 24 September 2010

A very interesting concert, this. We had heard a fair amount of music by JS Bach’s many composer/descendents, but I don’t think we’d heard any music by his forebears before.

In some ways, it felt more like a lesson than a concert. The programme notes are/were fascinating. A summary note is available on page 9 of the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM’s) season’s brochure – click here – that includes the programme for the evening too. (Also scraped to here in extremis).

In truth, this isn’t the most wonderful music we have ever heard; it is of its (mostly early to mid) baroque period. Unexceptional, other than the fact that it must have been an influence on JS Bach and all that followed.

But the AAM folk did their best to keep the concert lively and engaging. Richard Egarr is an engaging master of ceremonies, Pavlo Beznosiuk always looks as though he is about to wink at the audience and even William Carter smiled a bit during the riper anecdotes of introduction.

I especially like the AAM’s own blog piece – click here, which shows them to be a far more human, fun-loving lot than their somewhat scholastic veneer sometimes infers. However, there is a reference to a “mysterious punter” in the AAM blog piece which could be no-one other than our very own Daisy. Click here or the picture below to find out more.

Can you spot William Carter in this picture? Click through to try and solve the mystery

Here is a link to a search term that gets you most of (what little there is) to find out on line about this concert – including the above links.

 

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.