- November 5, 2017
Six carefully matched voices (seven when you count director Oliver John Ruthven), a massive lute and a violone told how the very first oratorio developed from dramatic motets by composers like de Wert, Frescobaldi, Caccini and Cozzolani. Dialogue between the separate voice parts gave emphasis to these static dramas. Ruthven directed from the organ and/or harpsichord, sometimes together, exaggerating these divisions. Finally, in Carissimi’s oratorio ‘Historia di Jephte’, the tragedy was intensified by solo characterisation, dynamic contrast, chromatic coloration and all the tricks of Baroque technique, expertly delivered by this excellent ensemble. The climax was exquisitely poignant and very beautiful.
St George’s Church, 4 November 2017