<< -- 2 -- Rex Harley ACCENDO
This quality was most effectively demonstrated in an arrangement of Pulchra
es amica mea, by Francesco Rognoni, after Palestrina. This was not an
ensemble piece, but a solo performance by Fiona Russell, with chamber organ
accompaniment. Her playing was exemplary; the piece sinuous and haunting.
This was arguably the highlight of the concert.
Her accompanist, and director of the ensemble, Robert Howarth played
several solo pieces during the recital, from William Byrd's The
Queen's Alman to the splendidly quirky Pass' e mezzo
by Giovanni Picchi. He performed with a brio which gave a welcome lift to
the first half of the concert, and the harpsichord sounded remarkably strong
and clear in the acoustics of the Banqueting Hall. He was also briefly interviewed,
most informatively, on the group and its repertoire.
By the final set of the evening, the ensemble was in its stride, doing
full justice to pieces by Banchieri and della Marra; and, in the process,
proving that the lesser known, 'journeyman' composers were as
capable as their famous counterparts of producing music of both complexity
and sheer exuberance.
The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble
The concert is due to be broadcast as a lunch-time recital, on BBC Radio
3, some time in December 2002. Though something of a curate's egg,
the best bits are well worth the hearing.
Copyright © 7 November 2002
Rex Harley, Cardiff, UK
ENGLISH CORNETT AND SACKBUT ENSEMBLE
BBC RADIO 3
The other concerts in the series, all due for broadcast, are:
The Palladian Ensemble - Bach Revisited
Concordia - Music for the Royal Harp Consort
Floating Island: Music from the Court of Versailles
Alla Francesca - The Medieval Mediterranean