Candlelight Bach delight at Adam Chamber Music Festival

NZ String Quartet violinist Monique Lapins played with .beautiful skill and musicality.

NZ String Quartet violinist Monique Lapins played with .beautiful skill and musicality.

Adam Chamber Music Festival

Bach by Candlelight

Wednesday February 8

Reviewed by Adrienne Matthews

As the setting sun played its own melodies on the stained glass windows, the first performers mounted the stage to the eager anticipation of a packed out cathedral.

Australian born and Russian trained tenor, Andrew Goodwin, embarked on the first two of four Arias from Bach cantatas. His voice is made for these works with a tone of rich silk and the breath control of a highly trained athlete. Not easy compositions, he made them effortlessly his own, supported by harpsichord and string playing that was exceptional.

American Ian Rosenbaum then performed Bach's Suite No.5 in C minor on the marimba, in marked contrast to the cello for which it was written.  I can't say that I loved the sound but it was an adventure and an opportunity to bask in the sheer skill and variety of tone that this superb percussionist achieves.

A range of the festival musicians then took to the stage to play Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor. From the very first notes, it was clear that this was a world class performance. 

NZ String Quartet violinist Monique Lapins played with a skill and musicality of such beauty that I hope she can record this piece.

We were treated to two more excellent arias from Andrew Goodwin before the rousing Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 filled the air with a controlled but vibrant energy.

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The two violas and double bass added a great deal to the rich tapestry of Baroque sound, drawing the evening to a close.

This performance was a chance to hear musicians from a range of groups such as The Troubadours, the Goldner Quartet and the NZ String Quartet working together in a way that shows exactly what chamber music should be, an innate marrying of skilful parts, that becomes glorious in its whole. 

 - Stuff


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