Sunday 4 July 2010

On Thursday we went to a private recital given by The English Concert celebrating the end of their season and the launch of their new season. They played Handel's Concerto Grosso Op. 6 no. 6 in G minor, Marcello's Oboe Concerto in D minor and Vivaldi's Concerto in D, RV208, Il Grosso Mogul. The beautifully expressive soloist in the Marcello was Katharina Spreckelsen. In the Vivaldi, the solo part with its amazing cascades of notes was played with aplomb by Nadja Zwiener.

Hearing such a group in a smaller, private surroundings brought to mind the private nature of much baroque music. Written at a time when public concerts were relatively unknown, concertos, concerti grossi and cantatas were written for private performance in patron's salons. Something that we can only experience rarely today.

The English Concert's new season includes such delights as Alice Coote singing Dowland at the Wigmore Hall, Anna Caterina Antonnacci and Sara Mingardo in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, Laurence Cummings directing an evening of contemporary arrangements of Scarlatti keyboard sonatas. The group will also be performing at the Spitalfields Festival, collaborating with I Fagiolini on Purcell's King Arthur

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