Concert 4 - Wednesday 13 January 2016 Print

RACHEL PODGER  Violin

MARCIN SWIATKIEWICZ  Harpsichord

    
  Perla barocca
 
   
Giovanni Fontana Sonata seconda
Dario Castello Sonata seconda
Girolamo Frescobaldi Toccata per spinettina e violino
Isabella Leonarda  Sonata duodecima 
Arcangelo Corelli 

Sonata for violin & basso continuo, Op.5/12

'La Follia' 

 
Francesco Veracini  Sonata for violin & continuo in D minor, Op.2/12
Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard sonata in C minor, K.56, Con spirito 
Domenico Scarlatti Keyboard sonata in C minor, K.58, Fuga 
JS Bach  

Sonata for violin & keyboard, No.2 in A major,

BW1015  

 

 

"There's an unfailing eloquence

in all Rachel Podger does...

A pearl of great price indeed!"

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

  
 
  

"Podger's pure tone

and expressive bowing

are well complemented

by Marcin Świątkiewicz's... harpsichord"

GRAMOPHONE  

 

Internationally-renowned interpreter of music of the Baroque and Classical eras, Rachel Podger brings her technical virtuosity and infectiously cheerful personality to Ilkley. She is partnered by the stylish, deft, imaginative Marcin Świątkiewicz, one of Poland's foremost harpsichord players.

  

This captivating duo combine sonatas from the early Italian baroque with later Italian works by Corelli, Scarlatti and Veracini, culminating with one of Bach's Italian-influenced sonatas in which violin and harpsichord become equal partners - a veritable feast of delicacies!

 

Concert Review

 

 

A Curate's Egg of a Baroque concert at the Ilkley Concert Club

 

Baroque violinist Rachel Podger came to us with a justifiable international reputation for consummate artistry, a lively intelligence in shaping the music and a vivid way of communicating with her audience. Her accompanist Chad Kelly, deputizing for the programmed harpsichordist, has similar credentials and clearly has an interesting career ahead of him. The bulk of the audience responded to their playing with typical Ilkley enthusiasm, but at the end I was left disappointed, and for three reasons.

 

 

I have often in the past when reviewing such concerts complained about the inaudibility of the harpsichord. On this occasion, the single-manual harpsichord used, although an improvement on what we've heard before, was not up to fulfilling its role as an equal partner with the violin .

 

 

My two other grumbles concern the programming. Composers use a variety of keys to maintain interest. The first six pieces, nearly an hour's duration, were all in the same key, which gave an enervating sameness to the listening experience. The change of keyboard player brought a change of programme. Instead of the promised aperitif, two snappy Scarlatti sonatas, we were given a main course, a Bach English Suite, (the longest work by far in the evening) which sabotaged the effect of the concluding Bach duo sonata that followed. Marvellous stuff maybe, but the wrong music in the wrong part of the programme.

 

 

So now for the good news. Rachel's use of vibrato is very sparing yet she produces a lovely sweet tone, totally avoiding the scrawniness that affects less skilled players and her rhythmic response is sprightly. Much of the music played in the earlier part of the programme is fairly sketchy on the page and needs embellishing and her improvisatory approach was magical. She was able to invest the more speculative pieces at the start of the evening with real meaning. It was fascinating to follow the growing compositional mastery throughout the evening with both players relishing the climactic genius of J.S.Bach at the end.

 

G.K.

 

 

The following recordings were recommended in the concert programme

 

Fontana-Leonarda

 

These 4 composers are dealt with on an excellent SACD/CD by Rachel Podger and Marcin Swiatkiewicz entitled "Perla Barocca" – Channel Classics CCS SA 36014. In total, 11 early Italian composers are featured, and the sound quality, as usual from this source, is superb.

 


Corelli

 

A very fine CD from Hyperion/Helios-CDH 55240 (budget price), from the Purcell Quartet, has "La Follia" plus several Trio Sonatas by Corelli. As an alternative there is a Naxos disc-8.557799 (budget price), featuring François Fernandez (violin) and Glen Wilson (harpsichord), which includes Violin Sonatas Nos. 7-12 of Opus 5.

 


Veracini

 

The Trio Settecento include this Violin Sonata together with works by Corelli, Locatelli, Marini and Tartini, on Cedille CD –CDR 0000099 (full price).

 


Scarlatti

 

A superb 3 disc set of miscellaneous Scarlatti Harpsichord Sonatas, played by Pierre Hantai, including K.56 and K.58, is available on Mirare MIR273 (3 CDs for the price of 1 full price).

 


Bach

 

Rachel Podger with Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord) play 9 Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord on Channel Classics CCS 14798 (2 CDs at medium price). The performances are extremely fine, with excellent sound quality.

 

Raymond Waud.

 

Club Notes for this Concert

 

A WELL-DESERVED THANK YOU


For eight and a half Seasons our excellent Concert Programmes have been produced by Sarah Warnes and her husband Richard—in all that is 68 Programmes, an extraordinary achievement. They have recently decided that the current Programme will be the last that they produce.

One of ICC's aims is high quality in everything we do—selection of music and artists and the general concert experience, including of course the Programmes sold at the each concert. When I look through the past decade of Concert Programmes there has been a really a great improvement since Richard and Sarah took over. Richard has been responsible for the cover designs that have improved greatly over this period, especially since we decided to have some colour pages. The Artist's biographies that Sarah writes are much more personal and interesting than those for other concerts that we go to. I am pleased to say that Sarah will continue to write these, whilst also continuing in the vital role of Concert Season Planner—she is already making plans for 2018 including a big name artist.

We should not forget other contributors—we notice that Geoffrey Kinder's programme notes are amongst the best you will find at any concert and Ray Waud's vast CD collection is brought to bear in his Recommended Recordings. The task of producing the Programmes will now be done by Robert Templar who joined the Committee this Season.

David Wharmby

GEOFFREY TUNNARD

A member since 1988, Geoffrey Tunnard died in March 2015. He and his wife, who died in 2004, were enthusiastic Members of ICC. We were very pleased and grateful in November to receive a cheque for £1000 as legacy to Ilkley Concert Club from Geoffrey.

JAZZ WITH THE FRIENDS

Ilkley Concert Club benefits hugely from support given by the Friends of the King's Hall & Winter Garden to Bradford Council's outstanding improvements to our buildings. Consequently we try to fully assist their fund raising activities.

The Friends are promoting a Big Band Jazz Concert with Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Orchestra on Friday 15 April 2016. Please find the publicity flyer on your seat - you can purchase tickets at our February concert. Another date for your diary is Chris Barber's return on Sunday 4 December 2016.

For further information visit : www.concertclub.ilkley.org