Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Gig-a-Blog™ (Sweelinck Ensemble, St Anne & St Agnes)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

This Christmas Oratorio (cantatas 1-3) at my favourite church was simply stunning. However, as it heralded (aha) an outrageously complex and busy period for us, starting at 5.32 a.m. on the Friday, this is just a few impressions recorded long afterwards.

  • Great singing, playing and direction
  • Excellent clarity of diction and orchestral texture so you could sort of hear through the music more.
  • Pretty fast tempo at take-off. At first I thought ooer blimey but actually it was rather good, and arguably more festive and less pompous than at slower speeds.
  • I loved the trumpets! They (Chris Bunn, Dominic Cotton, Steve Bailey) were generally good but Großer Herr, o starker König was really scintillating.
  • Nice atmosphere; mince pies and mulled wine afterwards. Woo.
  • I was delighted to have finally got Deb to a gig there to try and show her why I love this place so much.
  • Oh and afterwards we went to the middle restaurant - the Balcony Bistro - at the Barbican, and had an excellent dinner. It always amuses me how the physical arrangement of the restaurants there is a perfect map of their poshness and prices. Not that the bottom one really represents slumming it on the cheap, you understand, but you're left in no doubt that each move upstairs is a move upmarket too. So the middle one is pretty J. Gooders if you ask me. A very fine end to a musically terrific evening.

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