I am writing this in Tiptree, a village in Essex-UK, where I am staying with some good friends. Yesterday, Frank took me to a very good concert which happened in St Mary's Church, in a beautiful village called Maldon. The concert was part of the "4th Maldon Festival of Arts", and featured the Pegasus Baroque and the Choir of St Mary's performing works by Purcell, Bach and Handel. The highlight of the evening was the Dixit Dominus HWV 232, a wonderful and very demanding work in 8 parts. I copy from the program: "The work requires extraordinary virtuosity from every performer; singers and players alike, and it may be that Handel was simply experimenting to see just how far his musicians could be stretched".
It was such a pleasant surprise to hear this choir, masterfully directed by Colin Baldy: they were singing with passion and joy and they seemed to so much enjoy making music! (I could actually see them smiling!) From a musical point of view, I think they really did their best to face this most challening score. I think that the tempi were a bit on the presto side (especially in Gloria Patri). But the result was an exciting and explosive sound which reverberated around the thick walls of this old church.
The program included also Vergnugte Ruh by Bach (an interesting cantata). I shouldn't forget to mention the accurate and sensitive performance by the young solo counter-tenor Raffaele Pe. He seems to have a very promising career ahead.
In England there are so many wonderful oportunities to hear good music. I really miss that in Greece, I must say. In the UK one can hear music of the highest calibre even in the most remote village of the country...