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After the interval soprano choir member Penelope Martin-Smith performed the solo motet Null in mundo pax sincera RV630. Whilst Martin-Smith's fiorture were not always ideal, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a real virtuoso piece and Martin-Smith brought to it a lovely vocal tone and a high degree of bravura.

The cellist of the ensemble, Jennifer Bullock, then played Vivaldi's Cello Sonata in B flat major. This is one of his better known cello sonatas, though it was not written for the Pieta, which is a shame.

Finally a long (possibly over long) programme was brought to a close with a brilliant performance of Vivaldi's well known Gloria RV589. In this, the chorus got to show off its prowess in Vivaldi's brilliant vocal writing. If there were occasional moments of uncertainty, possibly owing to the singers performing from memory, they were admirably balanced by the wonderful directness that the lack of printed music gave to the performance. Vendome had direct control over his singers and they responded well, giving a vivid, lively performance. As before, the admirable soloists were taken from the choir.

This was a fascinating concert, and it was very heartening to see that the church was full. The group had already given a concert on Friday 5 January 2007 to a packed Holywell Music Room in Oxford, so I hope that it will be emboldened to give us another taste of Vivaldi's sound world before very long.

Copyright © 10 January 2007 Robert Hugill, London UK



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