16 November 2020

Getting to normal?

It seems just a little normal to be seeing the second concert of a local ensemble since Covid-19.  This is Limestone Consort and they performed again at All Saints.  Last time was a little turnout next to St Christopher's in Manuka.  This time it was back to All Saints, our superb little church with carved angels and even gargoyles and with a more generous attendance.  All Saints is our touch of the mediaeval, literally here in Ainslie.  A local gem.  So is this group.  Lauren leads with some regular players, Clara, James, Michelle and Iska.  That forms the basis of Limestone, a gut-strung string quartet with harpsichord accompaniment.  Then adding Jennifer on baroque flute for a few tunes and Greta to sing another.  Limestone's music is baroque or early classical: Handel, Quantz, Telemann, Brescianello, Vivaldi, and this time two new names, at least to me, Fasch and Leonarda.  Interestingly, Leonarda was a Mother Superior, so a female composer in early times, apparently composing in her spare time.  The music was various sonfonias (sinfonie?), sonatas and a concerto.  Guest Jennifer's baroque flute was a delight on several pieces,  changing the tonality and effect and bouncing lines with Lauren's violin.  But perhaps the feature was the final piece, Vivaldi Nulla in mondo pax sincera, with Greta singing the soprano part.  She's such a lovely voice and this was such a fabulous piece, not least the elaborations on Alleluia at the end.  Greta carried it out with great effect, although talking after of being concerned she couldn't do a last minute warm-up.  Understandable given the virtuosity of the piece, but she's too hard on herself.  It was wonderful.  Such a lovely repertoire, a lovely, joyous, happy outfit and a second appearance for them in this haggard year.  In case it's not obvious, Limestone are a fave of mine.

Limestone Consort comprised Lauren Davis and Michelle Higgs (violins), Iska Sampson (viola), Clara Teniswood (cello), James Porteous (harpsichord) with Jennifer Brian (flute) and Greta Claringbould (soprano).  They performed at All Saints, Ainslie.

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