Musique Vivante 2nd July 2023

The intimate space of the Gallery Mezzanine 55 was inviting and vibrant on a cold Sunday afternoon. The
diverse and colourful pictures caught the eye and the harpsichord and music stands had an expectant air. We were promised ‘Reflections on life through poetry, music & painting’, a blending of different art forms that easily link together.

The dramatic poems of Jose Antonio Malaga read in Spanish, the Baroque music played on period instruments and the watercolour scenes of Europe all fused to present an unusual experience.
The poems expressed different moods, from lively and passionate to sad and reflective. The poet read them with conviction and feeling and filled the space with his emotions. His turbulent life experiences in his early days fuelled his poetry. The translations were read in an unpretentious way by Vanessa Balnaves.
The pieces played inbetween had the same range of emotions but the music during the readings was very discreet – a background colour. The Ensemble played repertoire from French, Italian and German sources and their delicate sound suited the small venue perfectly. This group specializes in period music and their playing demonstrated the hours of working together on style and finesse.
The pictures of Europe were interspersed with large, striking portraits. For this occasion I thought it would have been inspiring to see the pictures of Europe during the performance. So either a rearrangement of the paintings or of the players!
It was a welcome diversion from a simple concert and the enthusiastic audience response proved it a success. Hopefully more will follow!

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