Monday, April 23, 2012

Concert Review: Ottawa's Best Kept Secret?

The Ottawa Baroque Consort with special guest Liv Nordskog

"The North Star"

Southminster United Church, 15 Aylmer Avenue, Ottawa

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday night's performance by The Ottawa Baroque Consort was quite the evening's entertainment.

The quartet was joined by Norwegian soprano Liv Nordskog who sang works by Handel, Purcell, and Pergolesi, in addition to works by Telemann and Bertouch performed by the Consort.

Certainly the best performance by the ensemble I have ever attended, both large and small ensemble works were performed with great accuracy and musicality. Unfortunately, due to the 'boom' of Southminster's acoustic, some detail in articulation was lost by the fifth row, though only slightly.

Ms. Nordskog's conscious use of vibrato had her blend easily with the accompanying instruments, which made a true rendition of the selections from Handel's Nine German Arias. Their interpretation did not relegate the instrumentalists to solely a support role as other performances have done and no better performance of the Handel could have been heard live anywhere else.

Too bad that there weren't more at the church that evening, however. An audience of roughly 60 in a hall suited for four or five hundred was an unfortunate sight as it didn't reflect the evening's entertainment in the slightest.

Bizarrely, the audience felt comfortable enough to, rather rudely, interrupt Marie's talks in between works on two occasions. Though the music was presented in a more formal manner, the dialogue was presented in a way which may have sent the wrong signals to the audience.

Southminster being a new venue to them this season, the Consort still have a few kinks to work out. Though, with the level of artistry displayed this weekend, it seems that presentation is all they need to concern themselves with.

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