Norwich Baroque

Programmes Press and Postludes

"English Baroque and the Organ" May 2008

Saturday 31st May 2008
Wymondham Abbey

Director - Paul Clarke
Soloist : David Dunnett - Organ

Concerto for Strings Op.9 no.1 in G major - Avison
Concerto for Organ Op.10 no.4 in C minor - Stanley
Concerto Grosso Op.6 no.11 in A major - Handel
Organ Voluntary in G major - Walond
Suite from Abdelazar - Purcell
Concerto for Organ No.13 "The cuckoo and the nightingale" - Handel
Symphony No.1 in B flat major - Boyce


Eastern Daily Press Review - MORE CONCERTS LIKE THIS, PLEASE

Graceful, elegant and melodious, the programme for this concert in the splendid setting of the Abbey was admirably chosen for the Wymondham Music Festival. It was persuasive evidence for the charm and vitality of English music after the Restoration and in the Georgian period.

The 10 players forming Norwich Baroque showed their style in works by Purcell, Boyce and Newcastle based composer Charles Avison. Rhythms were lithe and textures were clear. The more serioius movements were not taken too seriously, while the light-hearted movements danced away.

Philip Trzebiatowski always kept the cello line light and crisp, and the leader, Paul Clarke, was particularly impressive in the staccato passages of one of Handel`s best concerto grossos.

Among the treasures of the Abbey is its chamber organ. Built by James Davis in 1810, it is only small, but as David Dunnett showed, it has abundant charm and real character of its own.

Fast rippling passages in a solo Voluntary by the virtually unknown William Walond revealed a bright upper register. Meantime, thanks to an ingenious device, the bass sounded different, like a bassoon quietly laying down the law to a pair of playful flutes.

In the concertos, by Stanley and Handel, the organ combined with the strings. Though reducing them to a quintet might have improved the balance, the overall effect was quite delightful. There must be another concert like this before long.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH