I’ve just been to an excellent concert of baroque music, organised by Christine Capieu. Seven musicians of a very high level. I’ve played in the past with all except Stephen, the recorder player, and Nils, the cellist, but frankly they have raised the level of musicianship to a professional level, and I no longer have a place in this group, at least not for concerts. (Anyhow, at present, I still cannot play the cello because of the numbness and sensitivity in the fingers of my left hand). So now I can just enjoy the music as a member of the audience.
The ensemble consists of two wind instruments (flute and recorder), two violins, a bass continuo and harpsichord. As well as well known pieces by Bach and Telemann the programme contained some fascinating pieces by composers I had not heard of, like Babell and Merula. At no time was I bored though; there was an energy and sense of really being an ensemble that was most impressive. OK I could detect one or two slightly dangerous moments and one or two problems of intonation, but I’m quibbling. It was a concert to enjoy from beginning to end.
Nils, the cellist – a Swiss man from Valleraugue – was in a different league from me as bass continuo and had the stamina to be playing pretty well non-stop for nearly 90 minutes. He and William, the flautist, are I think the only two non-professional musicians, but they held their own really well. Stephen Rivers-Moore (English, married to a French woman, known in the village as much for his plumbing skills as his music) was outstanding.