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Friday, October 7, 2022

Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra/Koopman assessment – Bach sounds contemporary and jubilant | Classical music

Ton Koopman’s enthusiasm for the bread and butter of his lengthy profession – for the music of JS Bach, and for enjoying it with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, which he based in 1979 – hasn’t pale. This all-Bach programme learn like a biggest hits tracklist, but the music sounded unflaggingly contemporary.

It started with the Double Concerto for oboe and violin in C minor, with Catherine Manson stretching out some supple violin strains and the oboist Marcel Ponseele sounding candy within the quicker music, a bit blunter within the sluggish motion. Koopman directed from his seat on the harpsichord. The ensemble sound was wealthy and resonant on this living-room acoustic, weightier than some, an impression bolstered by the way in which Koopman at occasions formed the phrases into massive, full-bodied crescendos that swelled after which subsided.

Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra observe the minute’s silence at 8pm for the passing of Queen Elizabeth.
Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra observe the minute’s silence at 8pm for the passing of Queen Elizabeth.
{Photograph}: Richard Cannon/Wigmore Corridor

The Air on the G String – once more, thickly woven however with element within the articulation that allow the daylight in – launched the 8pm nationwide minute of silence. Then the temper relaxed once more with the Brandenburg Concerto No 3 – relaxed a lot that by the ultimate motion Koopman appeared to be having a good time, having fun with the large rattling crescendos Bach creates and, within the closing minute, throwing in a glissando of which Jerry Lee Lewis would have been proud. The ABO had fielded solely two cellists, which left the third cello half – which balances three violins and three violas – to be absorbed by the opposite two, an odd nook to chop. It labored properly sufficient however barely skewed the steadiness – and would in all probability have completely triggered Bach, who beloved symmetry, a great numerical puzzle and the quantity three.

The jubilant temper continued via the Orchestral Suite No 1 in C, the music dance-like however brisk: good luck to anybody in an 18th-century corset and periwig attempting to bounce elegantly to the Bourrée as performed right here. A barely gentler vitality infused the Brandenburg Concerto No 4, spotlighting some purposeful virtuosity from the 2 recorder gamers and a few impossibly quick violin breaks from Manson. The night ended with an encore of that joyful, tearaway Bourrée, and Koopman regarded delighted with all of it.

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