Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Monday, October 10, 2011

Early evening French Baroque Music at Christchurch

Add caption
Although Ireland has had its own baroque period orchestra for sometime now, I had not heard this ensemble and I was looking forward to finally hearing  members of the Irish Baroque Orchestra under their artistic director and Grammy nominee Monica Huggett.  I went along to their tea-time performance at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford.  Regrettably, I shall have to wait for another occasion to hear Huggett..  (If the PR material trails  a high profile performer, is it not reasonable that there is at  least an  announcement of a change of  cast?)

There were no programme notes but items were eloquently introduced by Lisa Beznosiuk who acted as leader.  The most vibrant aspect of the performance was David Adam's hapsichord  painted in vivid  peppermint green  embellished with eyecatching geometric shapes. As for the music by French early baroque composers Couperin, Rameau and Marais, I found the selection a bit dull and the playing overall a bit  clinical  and lacking in bite particulary from the strings. This may of course have something to do with my lack of familiarity with the baroque instrument timbre  but I can't say I was won over to early baroque instrumental music. I have on  rare opportunities enjoyed the different sound palette that period instruments have added to baroque opera performances but while the playing was polished and assured, I did not feel the players engaged particularly well with each other, seeming very focused on their own individual parts.
Tea time seems like a very good time to have a short performance. There was a relatively small turnout although the idea of combining a ticket with local restaurant offer seemed like a good one.  Local cognoscenti in the audience included  Liam Daly, newly appointed as conductor of University of Limerick Orchestra and his wife Maureen of Barrack Street Concert Band and flautist  Gerry Dower

No comments:

Post a Comment