|Brecon Ensemble with director Rachel Podger at Curtis Auditorium Cork photo John Finn|
Zesty triple violin Vivaldi from @rachelpodger & Brecon Ensemble to finish concert of ECEM Fest. @citcsm eastcorkearlymusic.ie
— Cathy Desmond (@fidleir) October 4, 2012
Following fast on the heels of the IBO's tour of the Bach Goldberg Variations, an opportunity to hear another top notch Baroque ensemble presented itself at the East Cork Early Music Festival . The Brecon Ensemble's concert at the Curtis Auditorium, Cork topped the bill on Thursday night with their acclaimed director, Rachel Podger.
I was just in time to catch the second half, featuring a Bach harpsichord concerto and an energetic Vivaldi concerto featuring very fine spirited ensemble playing from three violin soli and the famous Air in G to round it off. A single viola , a cello (spikeless) and violone completed this baroque ensemble.
There was healthy house for a midweek evening and the many aficionados included members from both the RTE Academica and Van Brugh Quartets. The audience lingered in the foyer to discuss the finer points of th evening. I missed the Bach concerti but the superlatives were flying around the foyer cognoscenti. (You can get a flavour in the video below.)
|Rachel Podger John Finn Photograpy|
The Aula Max in UCC with its vaulted timbered ceiling and latticed lining of bookshelves seemed altogether a more suitable venue for a Baroque programme and it was good to see the venue full to near capacity for a daytime solo violin recital by Rachel Podger. In the absence of printed programme notes, she introduced the pieces herself in lovely clearly enunciated tones which I always feel has more impact and helps to establish the friendly rapport between the performer and audience. Smiling broadly, she projected a very sunny disposition.
|Aula Max at UCC|
Modern day vs period instruments is a hot debating point in music forums. While the period instruments sound more mellow, would enjoy these performers just as much on modern day instruments? I believe I would. East Cork Early Music Festival is celebrating 10 years of bringing luminary performers in this field to Cork county. I commend them on this achievement and look forward to future performances.
Venue Notes The Curtis Auditorium while very comfortable and acousticaly sound, is not an intimate auditorium and with the house lights remaining up throughout the evening, the attention to period detail in instrumentation was not echoed in the lighting . It would aid concentration to have house lights dimmed and warmer more mellow lighting on stage.
|Final bows photo John Finn|
Link to BBC3 Early Music Show / featuring the Brecon Ensemble