Ariana Odermatt, harpsichord
Lauren Davis, violin
Ben Hoadley, bassoon & recorder
Clara Teniswood, cello
Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, 29 October
Reviewed By Len Power
Because eight busy hands are required to play these baroque music treasures, “Barocotopus” is certainly an apt and witty name for the ensemble of Ariana Odermatt, harpsichord, Lauren Davis, violin, Ben Hoadley, bassoon and recorder and Clara Teniswood, cello.
The concert offered several works from the baroque period of the 17th and 18th century. There were two works by the prolific Georg Philipp Telemann as well as compositions by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, Nicola Porpora, Louis Marchand and Johann Heinrich Schmeltzer.
The concert commenced with de Boismortier’s “Sonata in G minor” for violin, bassoon, cello and continuo. Its pleasing, bright and jaunty opening movement took us directly into the world of the baroque and contrasted very well with the reflective Adagio second movement. It was nicely performed by all four players.
After performing the first two works on bassoon, Ben Hoadley changed to an alto recorder for Telemann’s “Sonata in C major” for recorder and continuo. All four movements were very well played with the melodic first movement and the sensitivity of the third movement being particularly memorable.
Ariana Odermatt then played Marchand’s “Prelude and Allemande from Suite 1 in E minor” for solo harpsichord. This atmospheric work was melodic and reflective and was given a very fine performance by Odermatt.
There were also second works by de Boismortier and Telemann which, with different combinations of instruments, were appealing and played very well.
Schmeltzer’s “Sonata 2”, for violin and continuo, was also played and was notable for the beautiful playing of the violin by Lauren Davis.
As well as their fine playing of the various works, the performers took turns introducing each of them to the audience, giving interesting items of information about the composers. Their relaxed, easy manner transmitted well to the audience and added another dimension to this fine concert.
Photo by Len Power
This review was first published by Canberra CityNews digital edition on 30 October 2023.
Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/.