Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

John Ma performs the viola d’amore. Photograph: Peter Hislop

Music / “All Baroque”, Musica Digital camera String Orchestra; musical director, John Ma. At Holy Covenant Anglican Church, Cook dinner, November 12.  Reviewed by LEN POWER.

WHEN you get a musical director and violinist as a lot enjoyable as John Ma, a live performance can’t fail to be gratifying. 

He has his personal refreshing tackle the music to be performed and describes it in amusing and accessible phrases. Watching him enjoying his instrument and main the orchestra is to see a person who clearly loves what he does and needs to speak that to his viewers.

The live performance consisted of lesser recognized works by Heinrich Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Antonio Vivaldi and Georg Muffat, composers of the seventeenth and 18th centuries.

Heinrich Bach was JS Bach’s great-uncle. His Sonata II in F with its punchy opening set the tone for the live performance. The orchestra gave it an amazing efficiency, stuffed with power and color.

The following work, Telemann’s Overture: Suite La Weird, was one other busy work with eight actions. It was showcase for the talent of the orchestra who performed it with nice depth and feeling. The Sarabande motion was significantly gratifying with its sombre, melodic theme.

Vivaldi’s Concerto in D-major for Viola D’amore was prefaced with John Ma’s fascinating and informative dialogue about this instrument he was about to play.  Bigger than a violin, it had seven strings and the identical variety of sympathetic strings strung by way of the bridge, giving it a particular resonance.  It had a novel sound.

Musica da Digital camera String Orchestra. Photograph: Peter Hislop.

The busy first and third actions of the concerto have been performed with gusto and the second largo motion was most memorable with the viola d’amore’s haunting sound rising so appealingly above the orchestra.

The ultimate work, two actions of George Muffat’s Armonica Tributo Sonata da Digital camera No. 5, have been performed very properly by Ma and the orchestra. The jaunty passages within the second Passacaglia Grave motion have been sudden and refreshing.

The live performance was performed with out an interval break and this labored properly, guaranteeing that the temper created by these works was not misplaced. This was a day of nice music from the interval, well-chosen and performed.

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