Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne
December 3, 2017
Take the Australian Chamber Orchestra with its bank of fine musicians and priceless instruments led by the violin virtuoso Richard Tognetti, add extra musicians (some Australians and some international guests who have performed or are currently members of pre-eminent Baroque ensembles in Europe) along with a first-rate tenor Evangelist (Nicholas Mulroy) and finally an excellent British choral group (the Choir of London) and you have something special indeed.
Tognetti has now led the ACO for 27 years and the quality of playing and ensemble is testament to his devoted artistic direction. In typical ACO form for this repertoire we had some Baroque bows scattered throughout the ensemble and a mixture of original and modernised instruments with both steel and gut strings performing at old pitch (A 415 Hz) and tuning (Neidhart temperament). The continuo section was excellent with Neal Peres da Costa tirelessly contributing intelligence and great style along with respected Australian Baroque bassoonist Jane Gower and the satisfyingly articulate playing of Timo-Veikko Valve on cello. The contribution of timpani throughout was understated though the natural horns at the opening of Part IV...