It was a joy to walk through the beautiful walled garden of Holme Pierrepont Hall to enjoy ‘An 18th-Century Summer Concert’ stylishly played by the six members of MDD – Diane, Julia, Wendy, Gareth, Michael and Katharine – on Sunday, June 15th.
The choice of programme was particularly appropriate, both to suit a summer afternoon and to celebrate two anniversaries – C. P. E. Bach (born 1714) and Jean-Philippe Rameau (died 1764).
Handel opened the concert in grand style (the Overture from Theodora). Michael was in excellent voice, as usual, and treated us to a variety of songs scattered throughout the programme, by Handel, Hook, Giordani and Vivaldi. Wendy’s flute and Katharine’s harpsichord combined to enchant us with two delicate birdsong pieces by Couperin.
However, for me the highlights were the Allegro assai from C. P. E. Bach’s rather quirky cello concerto that Gareth played with a wonderful assurance, and the set of dances from Rameau’s opera-ballet Les Fêtes d’ Hébé. Henry Purcell’s magnificent Chaconne from King Arthur brought the concert to an appropriate close.
We left through the beautiful gardens having enjoyed wine and strawberries and good conversations, but above all with a wonderful variety of 17th and 18th century music ringing in our ears.
Thank you, MDD, for interpreting the dots on the page to make such elegant music for us all to enjoy!