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Bach Lutheran Masses etc

Lutheran Masses in G major (BWV 236) and G minor (BWV 235)
Sanctus after Kerll
Sinfonia and Concerto from Cantata 35
Ouverture Perpetuum mobile

The King's Consort
sopranos Julie Cooper and Rebecca Outram
countertenors Robin Blaze and David Gould
tenors Charles Daniels and Mark Dobell
basses Ben Davies and Philip Tebb

Kati Debretzeni and Cecilia Bernardini violins, Dorothea Vogel viola,
Joseph Crouch cello, Judith Evans double bass
Frances Norbury and Hannah McLaughlin oboe and Robert Quinney organ
Robert King harpsichord/conductor

A joyous occasion, given before a sold out Wigmore Hall audience which acclaimed one of the very best baroque music concerts ever.

The programme was brilliantly conceived, sacred Festlicher Bach counterpointed with delicious instrumental items, all given by as good a group of early music specialist instrumentalists and singers as you'll hear anywhere; all the solos were taken brilliantly. They were welded into responsive ensembles under the taut yet flexible direction of their eponymous conductor Robert King, at the harpsichord for the more intimate items, standing to direct the full forces, their numbers just right to fill the Wigmore Hall stage comfortably.

The programme book supplied full notes on the music, much of it 'recycled' as was normal baroque practice, with "regeneration always seeming to work even better than the originals" [Robert King]. Most surprising was Telemann in unusually adventurous style, with "a raunchy ouverture, whirlwind Tourbillon, rustic perpetuum mobile and a joyful final Gige" [RK]. At this last, one singer's very small daughter was waving her arms excitedly just in front of us.

A winner, as was indeed the whole cunningly devised programme, which cries out to be recorded to join TKC's 95 CDs on their Hyperion discography, the Consort's line-ups reflecting the best of several decades of Britain's 20th C early music movement. Some of those discs are re-released on Hyperion's cheaper Helios label.

Peter Grahame Woolf