REVIEW: La Serenissima at Bath Bachfest at Bath Abbey by Helen Reid 8/10
LA Serenissima specialise in Venetian music from the generation that came after Johann Sebastian. So we had plaintive gondolieri songs, and lively Vivaldi operatic arias, bewitchingly sung by soprano Mhairi Lawson, whose creamy top notes filled the Abbey, and orchestral works by Albinoni and of course Vivaldi.
The Albinoni Sinfonias were short and brisk and lustily performed, and the ensemble's leader Adrian Chandler had fun with the violin solos in the Vivaldi Concerto in E minor. Simon Munday on period trumpet provided a brazen brass line
But the second half was devoted to that popular and over-exposed work, The Four Seasons, complete with drunken peasants and falls on the ice, all very jolly and energetically played, but achingly familiar.
The one concert that really belonged to Bach and which reached his essence was an outstanding performance by Colin Carr of three of the Suites for unaccompanied cello – an experience to treasure.
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