on 21 February 2023 at Boston Grammar School
The last visit by the Passacaglia Trio to the Concert Club was on 18 December 2018, and the Trio received a very warm welcome from a capacity audience on their return to us on 21 February. The Trio specialise in Baroque Music and are Annabel Knight, recorders and flute; Robin Bigwood, harpsichord and Reiko Ichise viola da gamba.
The concert began with Handel’s Sonata in G major for flute and basso continuo. This was beautifully played with the viola da gamba growling away at the bottom, the flute dancing at the top and harpsichord singing away in the middle. I loved the sound of the viola da gamba.
Robin then played a solo on the harpsichord and this was a set of variations by C P E Bach. The variations are based on a well-known dance tune of the era, La Folia, and the harpsichord showed us all the colours and rhythms in this music.
It was sheer delight to listen to Greensleeves to a Ground from the first part of the Divisions and published by John Walsh in 1701; Divisions means variations and these were played on the recorder supported in the base line by the harpsichord and viola da gamba. Telemann’s Trio sonata for recorder, viola da gamba and basso continuo followed seamlessly and both pieces complemented each other wonderfully.
After the interval, Reiko played J S Bach’s Sonata in G major for viola da gamba and basso continuo (Robin on the harpsichord). This was beautifully played by both and I think that the singing voice of the viola da gamba has a much warmer tone than the cello, which supplanted it in the 18th century.
Robin then played Couperin’s Les Barricades Mystėrieuses from Ordre 6ème de clavecin. This is a short piece and I was sorry when it ended, I loved the cascading sound of the harpsichord.
Robin was joined by Annabel and Reiko for C P E Bach’s Trio Sonata in F major for bass recorder and viola da gamba. The bass recorder is mighty instrument and I loved the sound it made. The concert ended with Anna bon di Venezia’s Sonata in G minor for flute and basso continuo. Anna bon di Venezia spent some time at the Court of Frederick the Great and I wonder if he played this piece of music. There is a very famous painting of Frederick the Great playing the flute at Sanssouci, his palace outside Berlin. It was a wonderful end to a very enjoyable evening and judging by the applause at the end everyone felt as I did. I hope that it won’t be too long before they make a return visit.