Palladian Ensemble - Bach - Perthshire Advertiser


30 May 2006
The Perthshire Advertiser
Alister Y Allan

After their triumphant performance at Scone Palace, the Palladian Ensemble gave the morning recital in the Concert Hall. An appreciative and fair-sized audience attended. Again, the programme chosen was very interesting, varied and well balanced.
It began with J S Bach's Trio Sonata in C Minor BNV526. In three contrasted movements - vivace, largo, allegro - the wonderful balance of this extremely talented ensemble was shown to the full.
The Contrapuntal texture, shared equally between recorder, violin and viol da gamba, with guitar continuo was superbly articulated, with fine dynamic contrasts, phrases really beautifully nuanced and technical difficulties conquered. The expressive second movement was especially memorable.


Music by a French predecessor of Bach followed: three pieces for Viol by Marin Marais (prelude, rondeau, carconne), played by Suzanne Heinrich (viol da gamba) accompanied by William Carter (guitar).
This was a wonderfully expressive and musical performance with finely articulated bowing, deft fingering and sonorous tone, even in the "double-stopping" passages . It showed the composer and the performer, in total mastery of the instrument.
The ensemble returned to J S Bach for a series of arrangements of four of his Chorale Preludes for Organ: "Wachet Auf" BWV645: "Kammst Du Nun Jeso" BWV650 (Advent and Christmas Seasons): "Das Alte Jahr Vergangen ist" BWV614 (New Year) and "Herr Jesu Christ, Dick Zu Uns Wend" BWV544 (General Use).
Again, the composer's contrapuntal writing was clearly audible, with the chorale melodies beautifully played by Pamela Thorby (recorder), enhanced by the obbligato violin playing of Rodolfo Richter and by the continuo, Suzanne Heinrich and William Carter. The differing moods were also caught superbly, showing the composer's deeply-felt Lutheran beliefs.
French Baroque music was featured again in three pieces by Jean-Baptiste Antoine Forquery. Written in 1747, the pieces are "portraits" of figures from the aristocracy. "La Regente" was stately, with the melodic interest shared between violin and recorder and is a picture of the Prince Regent.


"La Du Vaucel" featured viol da gamba and guitar. This slow movement, characterised by pauses in the music, expressive harmonies and much melodic ornamentation, was beautifully and sensitively nuanced by Suzanne Heinrich and William Carter.
"La Ferrand" is a virtuosic Rondean with humourous interplay between violin and recorder, showing Pamela Thorby and Rodolfo Richter at their virtuosic and musical finest. This was indeed breathtaking!


The recital ended with a return to the music of J S Bach, his wonderful Trio Sonata in G major BWV525 in the usual three contrasted movement structure - allegro moderato, adagio, allegro. It was given a polished, stylistic performance, with all the subtle nuances of dynamics, phrasing and technical skill "par excellence" which permeates this fine ensemble's playing, with the counterpoint clearly marked, especially between the recorder and violin.
It has been a privilege and pleasure reviewing the ensemble's two concerts, especially as Pamela Thorby was educated mostly in this area (Coupar Angus primary and Blairgowrie High School) before her days as a student and now an internationally famous performer, who is a credit to the profession.


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