Early Music Montreal

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ensemble Caprice / Rebel - Les flûtes en vol

Ensemble Caprice
Matthias Maute. Sophie Larivière, Daniel Laurin and Natalie Michaud: recorders
Washington McClain and Christopher Palameta: oboes
Norbert Kunst: bassoon
Hélène Plouffe: viola Susie Napper: cello, Nicolas Lessard: bass and Olivier Fortin: harpsicord

Jörg-Michael Schwarz: baroque violin
Karen Marie Marmer: baroque violin and viola

Ensemble Caprice's concerts are well thought-out. The programming is thought of as a whole concert rather than being a series of pieces. It makes for a very satisfying evening.

This concert began with a piece by Heinichen. The double reed section was rich. The reeds add a contrasting colour to the recorders and violins. I particularly liked the bassoon, which added a punchy basso continuo line. In the largo section the violin sang with a beautiful tone.

In the Schickhard, the basson again was great! The conversation between the solo violin and the recorders was lovely. It is nice to have this cross pollination of musical ideas. Schwarz dances with his instrument and makes the music dance.

The Telemann quartet was a nice contrast to the works for a larger group. Each instrument had sections which brought out the character of the instrument. The violin, with its fast arpeggios made full use of its dynamic range. The recorder's sweet, clear tone was breathtaking. The gamba line was exciting.

The Telemann concerto in b flat minor for 2 recorders started the programme after the intermission. What a treat to hear Laurin and Maute together. I particularly liked the lyrical passages.

The Maute composition was taken at breakneck speed, perhaps too quickly to be really musical. While, it is impressive (and should be impossible) to play so quickly, it doesn't allow the listener's ears to take in the harmonies. It is amazing to hear 3 players of such high callibre playing together.

The concert finished with 4 recorders - a concerto by Heinichen. The reeds added a lovely counterbalance to the recorders. The sopranino added a new colour. It was a breathtaking concert (thought I expect nothing less from Caprice).