Lived up to high expectations
They specialise in music of the 17th and 18th centuries, played on period instruments with appropriate style, ornamentation, temperament and pitch. Part of their mission is to revive forgotten music and composers. They hit the spot here as I had never heard of any of the featured composers O’Carolan, Roseingrave, Viner and Thumonth.
The core members of the ensemble, Monika Kornel (harpsichord) and Stan Kornel (violin) were augmented by Nadia Piave (voice), Hans-Dieter Michatz (descant, treble and tenor recorders) and Verna Lee (harp).
The concert was well programmed, interspersing Irish folk songs with the more serious “concertos” and “sonatas”. Grand titles, but these were on the whole quite small scale works.
The full instrumental ensemble played the opening pieces by Turlough O’Carolan with lively engagement. The descant recorder, while beautifully played, unfortunately lost clarity in the reverberant acoustic of the church. The other recorder pieces employed the treble and tenor which were better suited.
Kornel played with sustained and even tone
The Sonata in A minor by William Viner was in the style of his Italian teacher Arcangelo Corelli. My favourite was the slow movement which Kornel played with sustained and even tone, again well suited to the acoustic.
Need to hear more of Monika playing solo
Monika’s French Double Harpsichord continuo expertly filled out the textures. We were however treated to a solo in the slow movement of the final work “A Celebrated Concerto for the Harpsichord” by Thomas Roseingrave. I would like to hear more of this magnificent instrument and Monika’s playing in a solo capacity.
Ecstatic voice was filled with yearning
It was satisfying to hear folksongs sung by a voice with even tone throughout the vocal range. I especially enjoyed “The Wind That Shakes the Barley“. The delicately ornamented melodic line in the ecstatic voice was filled with yearning. A wistful harp supported beautifully.
A thoroughly enjoyable concert. I will be attending their concerts whenever possible in future.