Baroque triomphe (Wigmore Hall, 6 May 2018)
Royal Academy of Music Baroque Soloists
Rachel Podger violin
This was the second time last week when I had to cut a performance short due to work. It happens (so I’m less critical with people who leave at the interval; you never know what their reasons were).
The show was lovely for three reasons: Podger is a wonderful soloist, the students were very good and the musical selections likewise. Though the violin isn’t my favourite sound (especially when it comes to the ways it was used in the second half of the 19th century, but then I usually frind that musical period difficult to crack…), Baroque-style violin has done a lot of good for my warming up to it.
In this context of further opening to new (to me) things, I more than enjoyed Podger’s playing – fluid and playful yet perfectly controlled. Her sense of style is fabulous (super flexible, light). Baroque Bird quipped that the students could’ve relaxed more, as they were doing very well and appeared enthusiastic (especially the trumpets), kept the rhythm without overpowering the others (the harpsichords). And indeed, I can think of at least one established Baroque band that could consider themselves so lucky to sound as disciplined and accurate as the RAM Baroque Soloists… The impish slide to ppp(p) in the pizzicato part was ace – but you know I’m very partial to the soft approach.
A few days ago I was reading YT comments on a certain pop song, where a conversation had started on whether the greatness of classical music vs pop lies in its being harder to play. Someone who’d done both mentioned how often times single classical piece parts are easy because the focus is on sound as a whole, rather than on solo parts. As they say, the devil is in the details – how you approach them, what you do with them.
Georg Phillipp Telemann (1681-1767)
Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Comacho TWV21:32 (excerpts)
Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)
Platée RCT 53 (excerpts)
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Don Juan (excerpts)
Pigmalion RCT 52 (excerpts)
Posted on May 14, 2018, in baroque, live performances, wigmore hall and tagged christoph willibald gluck, georg phillipp telemann, jean-philippe rameau, rachel podger, royal academy of music baroque soloists. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.