Once again the wonderful gang of Salut Baroque! came to Canberra (friday 19th of May, 2006; for the record), this time with a concert called "Music, Men and Manners", music based on the works of extraordinaire Charles Burney that musicologists everywhere have a lot to thank for; he wrote a lot of musical history, including lots of contemporary 17th century as he personally visited CPE Bach, Quantz, Hasse, Handel, Gluck and many more, wrote about their manner, music and performances.
As to this concert, it was quite different from many of the previous ones I've been to. For one, both old-timers Hans-Dieter Michatz (recorder; an amazing energetic and vibrant player) and Sally Melhuish (also recorder; founder of the ensamble) were absent, although the replacement was a bit of a stunning surprise;
Melissa Farrow; baroque flute. Wow, I think I'm in love; she's absolutely gorgeous, and plays in a excitingly warm and sensous way. (If she was doing cross-over, she'd be famous!) She was oozing control and direction, with a deliciously warm tone; no wishy-washy energetic swaying to trick you away from the quality of the music. Wonderful, just wonderful. If she sold posters of herself, I'd buy one.
This was also the first time in a long while I've really enjoyed Tim Blomfield (bass violin; musical director) who was truly present, playing with energy I didn't know he had. It was great to hear him push his way through the music, taking a stand; more!
As always the beautiful Monika Kornel (harpsichord, and I suspect she's Polish, but I've never been able to find out) ran over the keyboard with prescision and style. I really like her; low on show-offing, high on control of that soft lovely type, not too much ornamentation nor too little. Nice.
The usual suspects of Myee Clohessy (Baroque Violin; she's lived in Norway for a few years and probably knows a good friend of mine, Anna Helgadottir), Nicole Forsyth (Baroque Viola), and Valmai Coggins (Baroque Viola) provided quality as usual.
New to me were first and second 'soloists' (bit hard to stretch that term in most of this music as it was mostly for flute / recorder soloists) Kirra Thomas (Baroque Violin) and one other lady which name escapes me (stand-in for bassoonist Kate Walpole, maybe? Oh, I'd love to see more of Kate! She rocks!), both very good, although a bit fuzzy around the edges this night.
The music selection was as always interesting and good, lots of stuff most people haven't got an intimate familiarity with, and as always, superb inner notes in the program from Tim! I want the published for all to see and share, damnit!
Thank you again for taking the time to visit the Baroque musically-challenged city of Canberra, and I'm already looking forward to the next visit.