Monday, March 02, 2015


The Academy of Ancient Music at the Civic Theatre

This tribute to the virtuoso performers of the 17th and 18th centuries began with a bright fanfare, the work of Bach's own trumpeter, Gottfried Reiche. The notes are immortalised in a portrait of the musician, clutching his spiral instrument and a clearly legible scrap of manuscript paper.
The AAM have put together a clever programme of works both familiar and obscure. The Bach Double violin concerto, delicately phrased, with a real energy of expression in the closing Allegro. Biber's dramatic Battle, with tipsy soldiers, cannon, fife and drum.
And Vivaldi's Concerto for two trumpets, full of character and virtuosic charm.
Telemann's Concerto for Trumpet, Violin and Cello stood out even in this exalted company: David Blackadder, Rebecca Livermore and Sarah McMahon on excellent form, the eloquent aria for violin in the central Adagio was exquisitely done.
A trio of Bach Sinfonias to start, and a trio of trumpets – Blackadder joined by Philip Bainbridge and Robert Vanryne – in a triumphant Telemann Concerto to finish this glittering showcase of Baroque brilliance from the courts of Europe.

The programme booklet gave some information about the pieces played and the history of the orchestra. But only three performers were named, one of them Tine Thing Helseth, who withdrew from this tour for health reasons. Which makes four soloists uncredited, not to mention the rest of this excellent period instrument band ...

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