Roberta Invernizzi, two lutes, one viola da gamba and beguiling canzoni (Wigmore Hall, 19 November 2018)
I love these one shot (no interval) lunchtime Wiggy concerts! It’s usually pensioners and music students – and people who eat music on rye for lunch 😉 I try to get the day off for them, because otherwise they are really inconvenient for anyone working shifts but sometimes needs must include good ole’ skiving 😉 Put yourself in my place: 17th century love songs vs. Monday1 at work. I don’t care how much you love your job, music should win or you’re reading the wrong blog.
Anyway, I was only 1 1/2hrs late, so I’m keeping my respectability, especially after looking like I saved the day from a short on staff afternoon! Baroque heroes, you’ve got nothing on me.
Roberta Invernizzi soprano
Rodney Prada viola da gamba
Craig Marchitelli lute
Franco Pavan lute
Giulio Caccini: Dolcissimo sospiro; Dalla porta d’oriente
Johannes Hieronymus Kapsberger: Passacaglia
Claudio Monteverdi: Ecco di dolci raggi; Disprezzata Regina from L’incoronazione di Poppea
Orazio Bassani: Toccata per B quadro
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Canzone a basso solo
Tarquinio Merula: Folle è ben che si crede
Luigi Rossi: La bella più bella
Johannes Hieronymus Kapsberger: Arpeggiata
Sigismondo D’India: Intenerite voi, lagrime mie; Cruda Amarilli
Claudio Monteverdi: Si dolce è’l tormento; Voglio di vita uscir
Giulio Caccini: Amarilli, mia bella from Le nuove musiche
It’s been a couple of weeks or so from Lemieux with nothing – nothing! The upside is you really appreciate the musicians’ efforts after a drought. As soon as Invernizzi spun out the very first trill I was all how I wish I could do that! And when the lutes kicked in I thought this is it, I was born to listen to this 😉 I also, quite unusually, had a seat at the front of the venue, which, with Invernizzi works well as you get all sorts of nice dynamic transitions. This is the kind of concert where there is so little time, you need to be on from the moment you step on stage.
I really enjoyed her in this rep – probably my favourite performance from her. She has the style down pat and she didn’t either force or hold back, she was completely at home. As usual I liked the jaunty songs best (Dalla porta d’oriente has the same tune as Vi ricorda o boschi ombrosi) but Disprezzata regina by a soprano wasn’t a bad idea at all. It was a lot less stark and brutal than the recent one from Salzburg (it seemed like 2 lutes made a lot more noise than Christie’s entire band) but her tone and her investment worked nicely indeed. Voglio di vita uscir, a favourite of Baroque recitalists, with that playful start that belies its glum title, was, unsurprisingly, giddier than usual.
All in all, this is exactly my idea of a Monday lunchtime concert – content and presentation. I don’t know that I have words for how emotionally close I feel to this stuff. Might as well sneak in another Venice picture, though not everything above comes from Venice.
- Mondays and Wednesdays are the busiest for us. ↩
This was the first performance I attended in 3 weeks and that musical starvation added quite a bit to my enjoyment. If you look at the programme you can see it’s very attractive and interesting, though my favourite bit was, predictibly, the Poppea part. As we reached the interval I thought to myself “I could listen to the Poppea duets for hours!”
Love and death in Venice
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset director, harpsichord
Gilone Gaubert-Jacques violin
Gabriel Grosbard violin
Emmanuel Jacques cello
Jodie Devos soprano
Judith van Wanroij soprano
This is the pared down team Rousset usually brings along to recitals and, also as usual, it did a great job. The violins stepped in and out, showing virtousity when taking centre stage, with Rousset himself and Jacques carrying most of the voice-supporting work. Rousset can, on occasion, come off a bit lacklustre in opera, but his very laid-back, rhythmically solid but non-intrusive keyboard style is always strong in recitals. His singers have room to shine and they did here, too.
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Madrigals, Book 7
O come sei gentile
Ahi sciocco mondo e cieco
Dario Castello (c.1600)
Sonate Concertate in Stil Moderno, Libro I
L’incoronazione di Poppea
Prologue and Sinfonia
Signor, deh, non partire
Signor oggi rinasco
Pur ti miro, pur ti godo
Luigi Rossi (c.1597-1653)
A che tanto spavento
Che può far Citherea
Vi renda Amor mercè
Johann Rosenmüller (c.1619-1684)
Sonata Sesta a3
Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676)
Lamento di Cassandra
Lamento di Didone
The singers took a bit to achieve optimal blend, what with Devos’ very bright top occasionally covering Wanroij more middle placed voice but as far as aural mix they worked very well and they looked like they were having fun singing together. Seeing two women in dresses (pink and bright red) sing the Poppea-Nerone duets also brought on a smile for yours truly.
As you know, I’m not exactly a fan of laments, and I learned Leander shares this feeling. Baroque Bird pointed out that Cassandra’s lament was rather interesting (quite chromatic, I guess? my vocabulary is a bit iffy – angular and “stabby” is what I felt) and while I agree it was memorable writing it was still a lament… Anyway, they did encore with another duet, and although Rousset mentioned its title/composer, they now completely escape me (but Leander got it, as well as Damigella and Valletto’s duet which I, uh, didn’t know was there 😉 d’oh!).
The performance was very well attended and the laidback feel permeated the hall, though London has been going through a most peculiar weather moment (dark clouds and snow/clear sky and bright sun chasing each other several times a day). Leander and Baroque Bird mentioned mezzo Emilie Renard was in attendence but sadly I spotted her at the opposite end of the hall so no hello from me though I would have liked to chat a bit. Hope to see her on stage at some point in the near future 🙂