Sunday, January 15, 2006

Red Priest

A packed baroque concert last night with a wide age range (10 - 90 years) to see British/ Canadian group Red Priest. Dressed as pirates (they'd seen Pirates of the Caribbean!), the concert began with examples of how composers (Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi for example) stole music from others - "they stole from the poor to give to the rich". It ended with a fun version of Bach's Cello suite leading to some folk violin playing by David Greenberg (Cape Breton and a visitng member of the group replacing their normal violinist, Julia Bishop) and ended with Corelli.

The group performed. I mean really performed - putting on a show that was fun, engaging. This is a tall order for a cello, violin, harpsichord and recorder quartet. Its helped by the fact that they were having fun (at one point mimmicking a rock band - and by the fact that they are all virtuso performers in their own right. Piers Adams is widely regarded as the best recorder player in the world (including by himself) and the violinist plays both classical and folk. The cellist, Angela East (who plays a 1725 British made cello) is very skilled and the continuo playing of Howard Beech was outstanding (if you like that kind of thing).

For a baroque concert, it was over the top - but then, "if you haven't been over the top, how do you know what's on the other side?" (George Pratt, english musicologist and broadcaster). Posted by Picasa

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