Devon Baroque Ensemble at St Mary's Church Totnes (review)

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Devon Baroque Ensemble at St Mary's Church Totnes

It might take two to tango, but Baroque Trio Sonatas, despite their name, need four to perform.

Devon Baroque director and harpsichordist Jonathan Watts and cellist Barbara Degener combined perfectly to provide the continuo – the traditional harmonic background and bass-line – for some superb playing from violin soloists Jane Gordon and Sharon Lindo.

Marking the 300th anniversary of Corelli‘s death, this delightful programme opened with the composer’s F major Trio Sonata, where there was both an admirable balance between the soloists and continuo, as well as a taut and disciplined ensemble.

Jane Gordon gave an assured performance of Handel’s D major Violin Sonata, matched by a Vivaldi Cello Sonata, which certainly allowed Barbara Degener her own opportunity to shine.

Corelli‘s well-known La Folia Sonata was despatched with great panache, but without compromising the musical integrity of the writing for mere virtuosity alone.

Trio Sonatas by Corelli and Telemann, as well as a particularly well-studied reading of Bach’s E minor Violin Sonata concluded a most enjoyable and well-balanced presentation.

The concert provided both an ideal conclusion to this season’s Totnes Early Music Society events, as well as a taster for a further investigation of Corelli’s works later in the year, this time by the full resources of Devon Baroque.


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