Concert archive

25-10-2014 Flavours of France

This date was reserved for some of our favourite baroque works.. this time with a French theme. Not all the composers were themselves French but all were influenced by French form or style in some way. Several of the band were unwell but all struggled through and no-one would have known in the concert... thanks team.. you are the best!
Sat 25th Oct 2014 - St Stephens Church, Norwich

Director: Jim O'Toole

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:

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.