Norwich Baroque

Programmes Press and Postludes

25-10-2014 Flavours of France

Sat 25th Oct 2014 - St Stephens Church, Norwich
"FLAVOURS OF FRANCE"

Director: Jim O'Toole

Programme:
Overture in G minor - Johann Bernhard Bach
Overture Pour L'eglise - Charpentier
The instrumental Musick used in the Tempest - Locke
Le Ballet des Boutades - Lullian Suite - John Marston
Les Indes Galant - Rameau
Armonico Tributo no.5 - Muffat
Chaconne - Purcell

Eastern Daily Press Review:
A PREMIERE AND A NIGHT OF CONTINENTAL ENTERTAINMENT: FLAVOURS OF FRANCE

Norwich Baroque's declared intention of focusing its period programme on France did not deter Jim O'Toole's players from starting with a suite for strings and continuo by Johann Bernhard Bach, a cousin of the great JSB and based in Erfurt. Performed with verve and style, it was quite delightful.

So was incidental music composed by Matthew Locke for a version of The Tempest put on in London in 1674. Though the pieces were all lively and charming, the shorter ones might have made more impact if repeated, as if to accompany dancing.

French traditions figured in marc Antoine Charpentier's suitably impressive overture for use in church and in Jean-Philippe Rameau's character dances for les Indes Galantes. This sumptuous ballet in an exotic setting stirred the composer's creativity, and the orchestra responded with a will.

Le Ballet des Boutades - the winning entry by John Marston, a Devon GP, in the Losh-Atkinson competition for a work in Baroque style - was given its world premiere and received with hearty applause.

After a particularly fine work by Georg Muffat, perhaps a Scot and certainly well steeped in the German, French and Italian traditions, a Purcell Chaconne concluded this interesting concert.
Christopher Smith.