French Splendour & Italian Virtuosity

‘French Splendour & Italian Virtuosity in Baroque Music’
Michal Rogalski, oboe, Katarz
yna Kowalik, harpsichord, Kate Conway, cello & viol
Music in New Malden. 9 October 2016

Whatever the success of their performing, academic, or teaching careers, for many musicians one of the most important aspect of their musical life is their involvement in local musical activities, for example, setting up and running local music festivals and events. An example of the latter is the Music in New Malden (MiNM) series of concerts, founded by Jane Booth and John Irving in 2009. Held in New Malden Methodist Church, the annual series of Sunday afternoon concerts feature professional musicians and generally focus on early music and historical performance. Admission is free, but there is a retiring collection for a range of designated charities, so far raising over £9000 for Macmillan Cancer Care, Dementia UK, Home Farm Trust, Princess Alice Hospice, Disasters Emergency Committee, Jessie’s Fund and others.

The 2016/17 series ranges from solo piano to a choir and orchestra. It opened on 9 October with a concert (by Michal Rogalski, oboe, Katarzyna Kowalik, harpsichord, and Kate Conway, cello & viol) comparing French and Italian compositional and performing style in the Baroque era. Attempts to bring these two styles together were the focus of many composers of the period. Continue reading

Royal Baroque in Battersea  

The enterprising new series of monthly early Sunday evening musical events at St Michael’s, Cobham Close, Battersea continued with Royal Baroque, a group of young multinational musicians who met in 2010 at the Guildhall School of Music (8 Feb).  Their programme focussed on the French style, as represented in suites by Rebel and Telemann.  The solo instruments were played by Christiane Eidsten Dahl, violin, and Rebecca Vučetić, recorders, with Kate Conway adding many solo moments to her continuo role on viola da gamba – and demonstrating impeccable tuning well above the frets.  Continuo support came from Kaisa Pulkkinen, who didn’t have much chance to show her wares on baroque harp, and Katarzyna Kowalik, harpsichord.  Christiane Eidsten Dahl’s sensitive and delicate violin playing blended well with the quieter sound of the recorder.  All the players were well versed in French performing style, particularly evident in the gentler lyrical movements.