Tuesday 1 November 2011

A night of Baroque at Norwich Cathedral

I made my way to Norwich Cathedral on Saturday evening greatly anticipating the latest Norwich Baroque concert featuring Elizabeth Watts and Michael Chance. There was a large audience in attendance setting the scene for a brilliant night.

With Elizabeth Watts being described as a lyric soprano as ravishing as one could possibly want and Michael Chance as a musician of impeccable taste and expressive vibrancy this was always going to be a performance of the highest quality.

The programme consisted of Concerto Grosso Op.1 No.5 in D major - Locatelli, Nisi Dominus RV. 608 - Vivaldi, Arias - Scarlatti, Sinfonia for strings in B minor Al Santo Sepolcro RV 169 - Vivaldi, Concerto for strings in C major RV.114 - Vivaldi and Stabat Mater - Pergolesi.

Countertenor Michael Chance with Vivaldi's Nisi Dominus and Soprano Elizabeth Watts with an Alessandro Scarlatti opera arias both thrilled us but when they joined forces on Pergolesi's Stabat Mater it was a joy and truly made this a night to remember. A setting of the Feast of Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary Pergolesi wrote it during the last months of his life. When my body dies, grant that to my soul is given the glory of paradise. Amen.

With great enthusiasm from the audience the two stars of the evening gave us an encore of Scherzano sul tuo Volto from Handel's Rinaldo that made for the perfect ending to the evening. A great homecoming for Elizabeth Watts and with Michael Chance showing his support as Norwich Baroque's patron this turned into one big Baroque party.

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