Devonshire Cream is well known across the country, and when Devon Baroque under director, Andrew Wilson-Dickson is on the kind of form it is now, then it, too, deserves to be equally as renowned way beyond the county boundary.
Entitled Prevailing Winds, this particular concert provided the ideal opportunity for its strings to combine with its favourite wind players, who then, on this occasion, took centre-stage.
Opening with Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor for 2 oboes, it was very rewarding to see former local musician, Sarah Humphrys, who had since gone on to forge a successful career in the profession, partnered by Oonagh Lee in a performance that combined neatness of articulation with beauty of tone.
Boismortier’s Concerto a 5 brought bassoonist Rebecca Hammond into the limelight, in another tautly-conceived reading, while flautist Georgia Browne, who then joined for Telemann’s Concerto in E minor for flute and recorder, really set things on fire with the power and sheer attraction of her superb playing, and stage-presence.
Vivaldi’s well-known La notte Concerto for flute and bassoon gave the two soloists further opportunities to shine, while Boismortier’s Premier Balet de Village’s rustic charm proved the ideal aperitif to the closing work, Bach’s Fourth Brandenburg Concerto. Here artistic director and lead-violinist Persephone Gibbs was on scintillating form, and rightly the packed audience wouldn’t let the players go without at least one encore.
PHILIP R BUTTALL