Candlelight Bach delight at Adam Chamber Music Festival
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.
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.