29 June 2015

The joy of visitors

It's fun to have visitors. We've just had Chicago and Somerset and Norway for dinner. Limestone Consort had Pennsylvania and CSO (local, but again a visitor) for their last concert. It's intriguing how the differences are so minor these days; the discussion and experiences so shared. For Limestone, it was JS Bach Cantata 51. So beautiful and so international and even so perfect. They did it justice, too. Limestone were the best ever. This was a stunner. The Bach sang of "Jauchzet gott in allen landen" (Praise ye God in all land). The rolling phrases and the glorying joy that is Bach. Anne Gross is a friend of LC leader and one-time fellow student, Lauren Davis. She sang the soprano part with smiles and blissful joy. How could you not? The other visitor was from closer at hand, the Canberra Symphony, but Justin Lingard's piccolo trumpet sang with majestic glory and surprisingly controlled volume. This was a rewarding program, with a lovely string serenade from Kalinnikov (G minor), an Avison Concerto grosso (D minor) and Mendelssohn String symphony no.10 (B minor). All impressive and satisfying. But the work that particularly surprised me was Heinrich Biber's Battaglia à 10 (composed 1673) that used paper under strings to simulate a snare drum rattle, snapped strings for cannon fusillades and a fascinating movement that layered numerous songs to represent soldiers singing before battle. Lauren spoke of modern composers revisiting early periods but this was a composer, 350 years back, predicting the most modern conceits of today's music. Breathtaking! This was a particularly satisfying and challenging concert from Limestone Consort and I can only look forward to more.

Limestone Consort comprised Lauren Davis (leader, violin), Alison Giles, Michelle Higgs, Michael Horsley (violins), Hannah Keese, Elysia Fisher (violas), Poppea Dorsam, Clara Teniswood (cellos), Kyle Daniel (bass), James Porteus (chamber organ) with guests Anne Gross (soprano) and Justin Lingard (trumpet). They performed at All Saints Church, Ainslie.

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