- November 6, 2018
Was this concert a political gesture by the EU, one of the funding organisations behind this programme? If so, it was a winner.
Who could fail to be impressed by the benefits of cross-European co-operation on listening to the fine voices of the five singers of Canto Fiorito from Vilnius and the two cornetto (and, for one piece, recorder) and sackbut players of Musica Antiqua Salzburg? They took us on an enlightening musical journey through the countries of the Hanseatic League, a precursor of the European Common Market, which existed for 400 years from 1300 as a commercial confederation across northern Europe from England to the Baltic States.
The music went from polyphonic to Venetian-style double choir in an imaginatively created programme with plenty of contrast as the performers performed together in different combinations or in their separate groups, all linked by idiomatic organ improvisations.
The musicianship shown in their subtle use of expression and phrasing was first-rate, so it was a pity that the splendid idea of projecting images related to the Hanseatic League (including some by children as part of a worthwhile educational project) on a large screen became distracting due to repetition and the missed opportunity of showing images more directly related to the music that was being performed at that moment. Nevertheless this was an immensely enjoyable and rewarding event which reminded us of the importance of our musical links post-Brexit.
St Martin’s Church, 4 November 2018
John Q. March