Badinage at the Purcell Room

Badinage, n, [Fr., from badin, facetious] Light or playful discourse: also the name of a group of musicians, founded twenty-one years ago by Sally Civval and Paul Carroll, who play music by Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann and other 18th century composers. Yesterday evening they performed at the Purcell Room, a (relatively) small concert hall adjoining the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's South Bank. This was the programme:

George Frideric Handel Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Antonio Vivaldi Flute Concerto in D, RV.426
Johann Sebastian Bach Concerto in F for 2 recorders and harpsichord, BWV.1057
Antonio Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in D minor, RV.481
Antonio Vivaldi Flute Concerto in G, RV.436
Tomaso Albinoni Concerto in F for 2 oboes & strings, Op.9 No.3
Antonio Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in F, RV.490
Georg Philipp Telemann Concerto in E minor for recorder and flute

The performers were:
Paul Carroll baroque flute, bassoon, oboe & recorder
Gerrard McDonald baroque flute, oboe, recorder
David Rowland harpsichord
Kirra Thomas and Emily Ward violins
Stefanie Heichelheim viola
Sally Civval violincello

The concertos are all quite short by modern standards, about 10 to 12 minutes each. The items were separated by brief (about a minute) readings from comtemporary diaries and reports, which gave interesting glimpses into the period and provided useful punctuation between the pieces.

Recorders, which are the simplest form of pipe, can sound boring but these had a richness of tone which contrasted well with the flute in the Telemann. The other woodwind instruments were period versions (or copies) with few keys compared with the modern complex Böhm system; they have a distinctly different tone, the bassoon being more foggy and the oboes more pawky in tone than their modern counterparts. Some virtuoso playing was called for, as well - the Bach demanded some extremely fast harpsichord fingering, and the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto required an agility no normally associated with the instrument.

All in all an entertaining evening of the 18th century sense of order and civilization.

Posted: Fri - November 10, 2006 at 08:46 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM