Sunday, December 8

BREMF – MUSICAL ALCHEMY –  Improviso

- November 9, 2019

Improviso are veterans of BREMF LIVE! who have returned for a lunchtime of variety. In tune with the festival theme of Metamorphosis, they demonstrated musical change. In a laid-back manner Fatima Lahham (recorder) took a line for a walk, in this case the round ‘John come kiss me now’ that was antique when William Byrd set it! Severally the other players joined in, improvising in Renaissance style, Elin White (violin), Florence Petit (cello) and Johan Löfving (chitarrone, guitar). They played Baroque variations, passacaglias and chaconnes, the music dancing over relentlessly repeating bass lines. Special mention must be made of Biber’s exquisite passacaglia for solo violin, with its integral bass line.

By the time of the final works the performers were as relaxed and vibrant as the coolest jazz ensemble. I’ve never before heard that old chestnut ‘La Folia’ introduced with such complicated panache, nor a chitarrone given such a percussive role. I’d like to think that this music was always as much fun.

St Paul’s Church,
9 November 2019
Rating: ★★★★☆
Andrew Connal




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