Sydney Arts Guide review by John Pollak, 220224.

This was a concert in the Verbruggen Concert Hall Sydney Conservatorium. Its acoustics are excellent and the venue provided a superb setting for this Baroque Ensemble and its showcase performer soprano Anna Fraser. Frasers voice is unique in capturing the idiom and sentiment of the baroque era. With a range that is crystal clear and an impeccable diction she made the afternoon’s performance truly memorable.

But by no means does she eclipse the other members of this tiny orchestra. They brought to us the sights and sounds of the era with a freshness and authenticity. Long distant from our age ,with AI on the threshold of a Tsunami change to our world, there was a sense of immediacy in their playing. Alana Blackburn on the recorder, Sally Walker on the Baroque flute and Simon Martyn Ellis on the Theorbo, a Baroque Guitar, are amongst the other no less talented members that brought the music of almost three hundred years ago to the bustling chaos of today.

Yet overall this was a concert of calm tranquility. Its concluding “Ouverture Badinerie’ by JS Bach  finished the occasion on just the right note, the flute playing a sparkling ripple on a sea of counterpoint.  Bach bookended between other of the eras’ other great composers, Telemann, Monteverdi , Handel , Buxtehude etc, showcased his genius in an ingenious and novel way.

The concert presaged another three in the series in Sydney:
Concert 2: Sunday  5 May The Influencers;
Concert 3 :Sunday 23 June;  The Historian;
Concert 4: Sunday 13 October  The Networker. All at 3pm.

Keep an eye out for them.