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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment Queen Elizabeth Hall 27 October 2005
Elizabeth Wallfisch


Baroque Violin - France
Rebel Le Tombeau de M. Lully
Leclair Violin Concerto No. 2 in D, Op. 7
Rameau Suite from 'Les Paladins'
Corelli Concerto Grosso 'Christmas Concerto'
Vivaldi Spring from 'The Four Seasons'
Rebel Les Eléméns

Felicitous programme designing and the friendliest of non-verbal communication between Elizabeth Walfisch and her audience and musicians made this a happy evening for everyone.

The centre-pieces of each half was a violin concerto, Leclair's elegant and welcome for its unfamiliarity; one Vivaldi Season for its being allowed advantageously to stand alone, giving us no time to tire of the naive yet knowing evocations of poetic springtime scenes, such as three violas barking as dogs.

Elizabeth Wallfisch is as virtuosic a soloist as any before the public, but doesn't make a big show of super-charged energy above all, as currently fashionable to top the baroque sales lists; the atmosphere remained that of chamber music, the violin soloist primus inter pares.

Corelli's textures were sumptuous, and Rameau did his usual miracles of instrumentation with only flutes, oboes and a basson to vary the basic strings & continuo line-up (David Miller spent some time carefully tuning his two different eye-catching archlutes).

Rebel was heard in two guises, valedictory for Lully (wise that Wallfisch led from the violin; Lully had stabbed himself fatally with his baton) and anarchic in vying with Haydn in his dissonant representation of Chaos. Vivid orchestration without brass and percussion - until those same viola players surprised us for the lively finale by producing three tambourines, like conjurors with their rabbits, sending us out with a smile!

© Peter Grahame Woolf