‘Rendezvous in Vienna’ in Norwich

This review of our Norwich concert, September 2009, was published in the Eastern Daily Press.

There are growing links between the Players and King of Hearts and their concert on Saturday was as outstanding in performance as it was relaxed in its presentation.

But in a programme devoted to the links between Haydn, Corelli and Vivaldi it was their guest singer Sally Bruce-Payne who provided the real highlight of a totally shining evening.

Billed as an alto she sounded much more a warm and agile mezzo-soprano in a trio of delightfully sung Scottish folk songs arranged by Haydn and later in Vivaldi’s cantata ‘Cessate omai cessate’ (Leave off now). She had no intention of doing that in turning to Italian operatic style with a passion in florid arias and showing herself to be a vocal actress too.

Equally impressive was the instrumental music starting with Corelli’s Ciaconna in C for two violins and harpsichord and with seamless tempo changes its effect was almost hypnotic. But is there any better than Haydn in providing such a variety of mood and feeling in string quartets? On this reading of op.20 no.6 certainly not.

Although there were few fireworks from the ‘Red Priest’ Vivaldi in a predictable B flat cello sonata, it nonetheless exuded musicianship from the soloist.

Eastern Daily Press, 21.09.2009