Our concert on Sunday evening was a fine celebration of the Venetian Baroque (with a little Handel thrown in for good measure!) Not only Vivaldi, but also a concerto by Albinoni; and not only choral music either, but some truly amazing instrumental music too. It is a genuine pleasure for us to work with such fine musicians on these occasions, but this Sunday was truly wonderful. With the string players arranged in a wide semi-circle around her, and with violinists and violas standing (as was the norm in C18th Venice), Lorna Osbon captivated the audience with a virtuoso performance of Spring and Summer from The Four Seasons; one only had to watch the choir, who were just a few feet away from the action, to appreciate the extraordinary chemistry between the musicians.
Imogen Triner then took to the stage to play Albinoni’s Concerto in D minor for oboe. The huge phrases in the slow movement appeared effortless, and again this was a performance characterised by an infectious energy.
And so to the choir. Zadok the Priest was (is!) a brilliant opener for any programme; that masterful introduction begins so ordinarily, but then there is the gradual realisation that something truly extraordinary is about to happen. The choir didn’t let us down!
By the second half the whole place was so fired up by what we had already heard that I had no doubt that the choir would rise to the occasion. We continue to work hard at learning the music, not just the notes, and Vivaldi’s Gloria offers such a variety in this regard, from the achingly beautiful musical lines in the Et in terra pax to the dancing Domine Fili Unigenite. I think the photo here says it all really – I love working with this choir!