Saturday, March 6

BREMF – METAMORPHOSIS – Dramma per Musica

- October 27, 2019

This well-matched trio are already BREMF favourites after tenor Rory Carver’s sterling performance as Monteverdi’s Orfeo in 2017 and then their stylish contribution to BREMF LIVE! last year. Their confident stage manner made an easy connection with the large, expectant audience and then their music took over.

Gagliano’s version of Ovid’s tragic tale of Daphne is a fine example of ‘Dramma per Musica’, which is how his contemporary Monteverdi described opera. Carver’s quietly authoritative narration gave his passionate dramatic moments more heft. The tension was sustained by a strong rhythmic drive, the delicate ornamentation seemed incidental rather than intrusive. The most telling sections were perhaps the quietest – you could hear a pin drop!

Our ears were then refreshed with three elegant pieces by Lully, not very much later and no less emotionally charged, but very different.

The three songs by Henry Lawes took me by surprise.  I’d always thought his cavalier brother was the exciting one. Harry Buckoke (viola da gamba, lirone) and Jonatan Bougt (theorbo) conjured up mysterious forests, floods and storms as settings for the singer’s storytelling. Together they delivered an intelligently conceived programme with enthusiastic introductions and excellent music.

You can hear them all again at The Old Market, the weekend 8/9 February in a full, staged performance of Marco da Gagliano’s ‘La Dafne’ (1608). I can’t wait!

St Paul’s Church,
26 October 2019
Rating: ★★★★½
Andrew Connal

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