Baroque Music for Wind Instruments

CHRISTOPHER SMITH King of Hearts, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

King of Hearts, Norwich

A lunchtime audience was able to take gentle pleasure from the group Concentus VII's programme of 18th-century chamber music. It combined one of the best-loved sonatas by Handel with works from the period that were quite unfamiliar.

The opening trio by Boismortier, for example, was given a certain originality by the particular tone of Robert Percival's Baroque bassoon. It was set off attractively against Linda Paul's oboe and conventional continuo for harpsichord (Mie Hayashi) and cello (Tabitha Tuckett).

A sonata by Telemann was even more remarkable for its unusual and effective combination of recorder and the deeper-pitched oboe d'amore.

One of the most talented of Bach's sons, Carl Philipp Emmanuel, was composer of a fascinating oboe solo. Adopting the style of the Baroque aria, it had an urgency in its phrasing that was especially striking.

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JC Schickhardt's Variations on La Folia looked back to an earlier tradition with its succession of fluent, ingenious developments of what was the Baroque top of the pops.

Louise Strickland played the treble recorder. She created an excellent impression with unfailing neatness and agility. But her playing was rather too uniform. Understandably she could not match the cello in gradations of volume, but different styles of tonguing would have added character.