The annual chamber music festival took place at the RNCM from the 9th-11th of January 2015, and this year it featured a few performances on Baroque instruments, which both of us took part in. Throughout the festival several of Zelenka’s ‘Lamentations’ were performed alongside some contemporary works, and there was also a performance of Biber’s ‘Battalia à 10’, directed by head of Historical Performance Roger Hamilton. Here is a short clip of the Biber I played in, where the performers are encouraged to stamp their feet, tap their bows, or even attempt to hit each other over the head as one of the viola players demonstrated!
As it was our first try at playing the instruments in public we were slightly apprehensive, but the concerts went really well and were very enjoyable to play in. The baroque violin in particular took a bit longer to tune on stage, and also seemed to slip a bit in the performance, but perhaps this just made the performance a bit more authentic..!
It was the piece by Zelenka that Amy and I both got to play in together, which was one of the beautiful Lamentations for solo voice and instrumental accompaniment. We both discovered how much you have to listen to, and also watch, what the singer is doing to be able to play together and imitate the different phrases they sing. Similarly, the ‘cello and harpsichord players have to be completely in sync with the bass line.
We were very pleased to get this opportunity to perform on our baroque instruments, and we’re really looking forward to the next time – a ‘Louis XIV’ concert at the RNCM on the 1st of March. Watch this space!