An Evening of Bach Review

DECO_EveningofBach_A5-1THE Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra has always felt like a family affair.

These professional musicians play together with an affection that makes every concert feel like you’re listening to a group of friends sharing something they love.

With the orchestra slimmed down to just ten players and performing standing up, the all-Bach concert on Saturday, May 11, directed by Philip Scriven, took that experience to a new level.

And the family feeling was literal in the centrepiece of the concert as DECO’s artistic director, violinist Alex Laing, joined his uncle, oboist and former Birmingham Conservatoire principal George Caird in Bach’s double concerto BWV 1060.

It was a delightful pairing; Caird’s lyrical sound providing a lovely foil to Laing’s gutsy tone.

Framing the concerto were two nicely-contrasted solo cantatas, each performed by a Lichfield Cathedral extended musical family member.

Francis Ambrose was wonderfully expressive in “Ich Habe Genug” bringing both light and shade to the sombre (and tongue-twisting) text.

And Harriet Hunter managed to combine vocal exuberance with poise in the joyous “Wedding Cantata”.

Judging from the alert and colourful accompaniments, her colleagues found it infectious.


by Richard Bratby

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