Baroque in Venice
Music by Vivaldi, Handel, Albinoni and Brett Dean
RNCM Concert Hall, 26 February 2011
Gusto is the word that best describes this fine concert of baroque music.
There was one modern piece, ‘Short Stories’ by Brett Dean, but the rest of the music was taken from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
As a violinist, Giovanni Guzzo brought energy and vitality, in particular to Vivaldi’s two concertos (the Violin Concerto in G minor and the Concerto in B minor for Four Violins). He gave colour, momentum, swagger and swing to the whole of these works, not just the Allegro movements.
Rachel Clegg’s oboe playing was splendid, especially during the luxuriant Adagio movement of Albinoni’s Oboe Concerto in D minor. She awakened all of its opulent melody and deep emotion. And Lynda Sayce played a mean theorbo throughout.
If Dean’s work had not quite the same vintage as the others, it was nonetheless of similar quality. The fourth movement, ‘Komarov’s Last Words’, stood out though ‘Embers’ (the third) was the most intriguing. Apparently, Dean had the motive ‘to reduce the workings of a piece of music to its barest esentials’, an ambition akin to Hemingway’s when he wrote a short story in a mere six words.
Read the review on Jildy Sauce