Grand Baroque III – the afterglow!

The performance was absolutely terrific according to participants and audience alike. Thank you to everyone who took part and came to the concert, a lot of work but so worth it!

One of the professional players, trumpet Russ Gilmour,  blogged here with a very detailed review, and a member of the audience has also contributed a short review, below:

During the 17th century, several German musicians went to Italy to study, compose, and perform, absorbing the style initiated by Monteverdi and others.  One such was Rosenmüller, whose music, full of wonderful melodies and counterpoint, featured in “Grand Baroque III” at Exeter Cathedral on 28th August.

The Blackdowns Early Music Choir and a line-up of distinguished soloists were accompanied by authentic instruments, including cornetts, sackbuts and baroque strings, essential to recreate the “sound-scape” of the time.  The choir, perhaps inspired by the occasion and the wonderful voice projection of the soloists, including soprano Amy Haworth, were on top form.  The distribution of the vocal and instrumental forces across the transept of the cathedral enhanced the antiphonal effects, which were particularly thrilling when trumpets and drums were added to the mix.

But, in a well-chosen programme, there was also space for quieter numbers such as Schelle’s hauntingly beautiful “Komm Jesu komm”, with a simple organ accompaniment played by Steven Devine, and for instrumental pieces which allowed the various sections of the band to show off their skills.

Credit for the integration of these diverse forces into a deeply satisfying musical experience must go to the calm direction of conductor Janjoost van Elburg, a leading figure in early  music.

The West Country is fortunate to be able to host such performances.  Lovers of choral or early music who missed this concert will be kicking themselves, and may be hoping, as are those of us who were there, that the Blackdowns Early Music Project will go on to produce a Grand Baroque IV.                                                         Contributed by Brian Maynard-Potts  11/09/201


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