14 November 2016


It was a more compact Adhoc Baroque that gathered for their most recent concert. This was at St Paul's. Just four: harpsichord, cello and a singing pair of soprano and mezzo-soprano. The music was no surprise, though: Vivaldi and Scarlatti but also Bononcini, Bellinzani and Geminiani. Not just the music, but also the themes, were those of the time - Dido and Aeneas, Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Ancient and largely forgotten history to our times. The farfalletta (butterfly) is more current, at least as a theme. It was a clever piece by Vivaldi that really did flip about lightly in the wind, as if on the wings of a butterfly. But how dignified and courtly is this music. The recitatives that speak the stories with minimal accompaniment; the even phrasing; the occasional pairing in harmony of the two singers; the frequent dance-like gait. I loved the harmonised vocals when they came, and enjoyed the sometimes face-to-face interaction of singers Maartje and Greta (although we did lose some direct volume when they sang to each other) and the sequenced cello lines in accompaniment with the continuo harpsichord. Mostly these were tunes with singing, either one singer or two, other than Clara playing a cello sonata (Geminiani Dmin op.5 no.2) with Peter's accompaniment. This is lovely music to close eyes to and follow the stately movements. A lovely, dignified set of tunes from one of our best local baroque ensembles.

Adhoc Baroque comprised Greta Claringbould (soprano), Maartje Sevenster (mezzo-soprano), Clara Teniswood (cello) and convenor Peter Young (harpsichord). They performed Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Bononcini, Bellinzani and Geminiani at St Pauls, Manuka.

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