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<<  -- 3 --  Rex Harley    ... AND A DASH OF CHUTZPAH


For a start, three cellos in an orchestra of this reduced scale, is surely de trop, especially when the featured soloists were playing wind instruments of great subtlety but minimal power -- (and the first piece also contains a theorbo, that great whisperer among plucked instruments). This was further aggravated by the fact that at least one of them was not exactly rock solid where intonation was concerned. The harpsichord was remarkably bright, and thus at times also rather overpowering. If the balance of an orchestra is perceived to be wrong by a conductor, he or she can at least mitigate the imbalance by indicating a reduced dynamic level to the relevant section. Not so when the conductor is working from the harpsichord; anything that has not been sorted out in rehearsal will remain a problem during the performance.

Nonetheless, this was an entertaining evening. Brio and verve are probably more important than perfection when it comes to live performances. That, and a degree of chutzpah! But, especially as the orchestra develops, and finds itself playing on other than home territory, some of those rough edges will need to be smoothed and polished.

The Welsh Baroque Orchestra
The Welsh Baroque Orchestra

I see no reason why not. All power to their elbows.

Copyright © 11 June 2003 Rex Harley, Cardiff, UK


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