The Academy of Ancient Music

MICHAEL DRAKE St Margaret's Church, King's Lynn (King's Lynn Festival)


St Margaret's Church, King's Lynn (King's Lynn Festival)

The programme of Baroque music directed by leader Pavlo Beznosiuk including a septet of compositions from the masters of the period, started with Handel's Concerto Grosso Op 6 No.1 in which the initial Allegro was a joyous affair as the players immediately showed that they listen and watch intently and that precision is their watch-word. In No 10 from the same Opus, contrast between the two was evident in the latter's theatrical overtones.

Albinoni's Concerto for Oboe developed a harmonious relationship between the Academy and soloist Frank de Burine who produced some superbly controlled long phrasing. And then Handel again - “a favourite of the band” - and the Sonata a 5, where after the sombre Andante unison sections emphasised the “band's” musical unity before the soloist had a number of impressive virtuoso passages.

More fine work came in Vivaldi's Concerto in B flat for Oboe and Violin and although the latter was subservient to the oboe more could have been made of it under the woodwind's melodic lines in the Largo. Continual movement was emphasised in the same composer's Tempesta di Mare Concerto by its colourfully descriptive accents and rhythms before perhaps an untypical Bach Concerto in C minor and a lively opening and plaintive oboe and violin duet with each enjoying the other's company. But no mistaking a sparkling finale. Ancient, yes, but after 350 years “moderns” still enjoyed playing and listening.