Musique Vivante 27 June

Musice Vivante presented a concert of French Baroque music at the Thursday lunchtime concert on 27th June. The ensemble was made up of four players, each playing on historically correct instruments: Andrew Gardiner (Flute), Agnes Weinstein (violin), Catherine Finnis (bass viol) and Anne Whelan (harpsichord). Of particular interest was the beautiful replica 1780 harpsichord built by Richard Shaumlöffe, which features gilt Chinoiserie designs on dark background.

This ensemble was perfectly suited to the acoustic of the room, and the audience was treated to a delightful selection of music played with attention given to the style of performance at the time. The program comprised works by Couperin, Boismortier, Leclair and Hotteterre.

The period instruments also provided a touch of theatre, with a violin string popping, necessitating some hasty engineering work. This gave Andrew Gardiner the opportunity to tell the audience the story behind the death of one of the composers – Leclair – who, it’s fairly certain, was murdered. More can be heard in a Kaleidoscope interview broadcast on June 19th,  leading up to the concert.

The full house gives an indication of the popularity of music from this period, especially performed in such well-suited surroundings. Here’s hoping for more.

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