HomeTheatreTom Koopman brings his this wealth of Bach data to Wigmore Corridor...

Tom Koopman brings his this wealth of Bach data to Wigmore Corridor – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United Kingdom Bach: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra / Ton Koopman (director / harpsichord). Wigmore Corridor, 18.9.2022. (CC)

Tom Koopman on the Wigmore Corridor © Richard Cannon

Bach – Double Concerto for Oboe, Violin and Strings in C minor, BWV 1060R (c. 1736); Orchestral Suite No.3 in D, BWV 1068 (1731): Air; Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G, BWV 1048 (1721); Orchestral Suite No.1 in C, BWV 1066 (earlier than 1725), Brandenburg Concerto No.4 in G, BWV 1049 (1721)

It’s tough to think about anybody extra certified to steer this live performance than Ton Koopman. His lifelong saturation within the music of J S Bach has resulted in a forest of recordings, together with the primary full traversal of the cantatas. In Might 2019, Koopman succeeded John Eliot Gardiner as President of the Leipzig Bach Archive. He introduced this wealth of information to those performances of a few of Bach’s best-loved scores, directing the ensemble he based in 1979, the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra – their appearances at Koopman’s magnificent Baroque Itinéraire are at all times much-anticipated occasions.

This night’s menu was carried out straight by and was timed in order that gamers and viewers might be a part of within the Nationwide Second of Reflection in reminiscence of Queen Elizabeth II at 8pm. The Double Concerto is probably higher identified in its kind as a Concerto for Two Keyboards, BWV 1060, however the sense of dialogue between violin and oboe appears much more pleasant. Catherine Manson is a virtuoso of the Baroque violin and possessed of a fantastically wealthy sound and was joined by oboist Marcel Ponseele. Koopman stored rhythms fantastically sprung; if there was one thing of a mismatch when it comes to smoothness of supply within the central Adagio (Manson extra so than Ponseele), the finale was Baroque brilliance personified, Manson’s articulation at velocity a delight, however above all blessed by an excellent sense of rhythmic terracing.

The well-known Air from the Third Orchestral Suite (with out harpsichord continuo) was fantastically, affectionately phrased, the perfect lead-in to that second of reflection.

Two Brandenburg Concertos sandwiched an Orchestral Suite for the second ‘half’ of the live performance – in a way, the ‘Queenly Second’ acted as a pure divider. Right here, it was the sheer readability of the decrease registers and the bass line from the Amsterdam gamers particularly that impressed. There was such life to the outer actions, and such pleasure to the antiphonal interchanges. Fascinating to listen to Koopman insert a daring, swooping glissando at one level. A gorgeous traversal, performing in excessive distinction to the grand ceremony of the opening of the First Orchestral Suite. This was beautifully achieved, the theme of the Allegro so fastidiously phrased with utter unanimity of part. A dignified, courtly Courante and fast Gavotte (and equally snappy Bourée) held inside them the infectious rhythms of the Menuet and the wonderful Forlane. Woodwind contributions have been excellent (oboe and bassoon – Wouter Verschuren – particularly) earlier than the ultimate pair of Passepieds brough an actual sense of peace.

It was left to the Fourth Brandenburg Concerto to spherical off the night in a present of excessive virtuosity from Manson and the fantastic Reine-Marie Verhagen (a Baroque Itinéraire common) and the younger Brazilian recorder participant Inês d’Avena. The 2 recorders labored fantastically collectively, whereas Manson appeared to play with Paganini-like command – and no sense of tiring, regardless of the calls for positioned on her all through the live performance. The recorder enjoying within the central Andante was past criticism, the 2 gamers performing as a unit, earlier than the swish counterpoint of the Presto finale Gorgeous Bach enjoying, right here and in every single place; only one encore (‘Extra Bach!’ as Koopman mentioned), a return for the Bourée from the Orchestral Suite.

Colin Clarke

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