Tuesday, June 26, 2012


at the Thaxted Festival

Red Priest's distinctive brand of baroque is perhaps a little too in-your-face for the staid surrounding of Thaxted's magnificent church. Tim Kliphuis a year or two back probably as far out as most would wish to go.

But they gave two excellent sets, and some of us at least stood for the ovation at the end.

Fronted by that inimitable magician Piers Adams, they played many of their greatest hits, including Bach's Third Brandenburg, his Toccata and Fugue, on a variety of recorders, and an Argentine-influenced Albinoni Adagio.

Spring, from the Four Seasons, complete with birdsong and a stray dog, on this unusually fine June evening, a meeting of Zadok and Sheba, and Tartini's Senti Lo Mare, from their Pirates of the Baroque CD.

Of course beneath the leather and the bustier are four superb musicians – Piers amazing fingering, and his way of bending a note, David Wright's virtuoso harpsichord, Angela East's cello amazing in Lanzetti, Julia Bishop's versatile fiddle. All very enjoyable – my only complaint is that, given the visual nature of much of Red Priest's work, some effort might have been made to light the concert, especially for the second half.

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