Concert archive

"Summer Sunday Baroque" July 2009

On a hot summer Sunday, violinist, Rebecca Livermore, of the Academy of Ancient Music, and Cellist, Alison McGillivray, of Concerto Caledonia, gave a recital of Bach and Morley in the serene and beautiful surroundings of St. Helen`s, the church of The Great Hospital, Norwich.
Sunday 26th July 2009
St Helen`s Church, Bishopgate, Norwich

Rebecca Livermore - Violin
Alison McGillivray - Cello

Four Fantasies - Thomas Morley
Partita for violin No.2 in D minor - Bach
Canons from The Art of Fugue - Bach
Suite for solo cello in C major - Bach


This was an opportunity to listen to some fine music-making in a wonderful building. And what a homogenous sound the two soloists made in the wide nave, built long before the music was composed. In some venues it will dissipate but here the definition between the instruments was always clear and well defined.

The pair started with Four Fantasies by Norwich born Thomas Morley. Unsuprisingly madrigal-like, they were bright, quite sombre and joyful in turn. Thus established they turned to Canons from Bach`s Art of Fugue. Introduced as "extraordinarily complex and clever" the artistes seemed to make light of the difficulties of the compositions.

Each half contained more Bach as unaccompanied solos and in the violin Partita No.2 in D minor for violin Rebecca Livermore gave much colour as the dances varied from stately to the longer Ciaccona needing continual dexterity and virtuoso quality to cope with its double-stopping. It was a tour de force and a stunning display.

The Suite for solo cello in C major showed Bach in a brighter key and lighter vein with each of the half dozen dances free flowing in the varying rhythms. Lower notes in particular always resonated in the fine acoustic with the Bouree pointing the instrument`s sonority until the well-known Gigue, given a lightness of touch, ended a technically demanding and highly skilled performance.

A gentle duet with the Andante from Bach`s Sonatas and Partitas completed the afternoon.