Monday, February 12, 2018


Bourgie Hall. February 11th concert 

From the very first concerto highlighting the Teatro Alla Moda theme in Arion’s third concert of the season, the composer Evaristo Felice Dall’Abaco  proved to be the perfect choice to contrast  February’s dreary weather.  Sweet subtle inflections of delicately executed pairings of strings with harpsichord- harmonizing  created a stylish French lightness . Rhythmically uplifting, this concerto in D major put us all in a spirited mood exemplified by the guest violinist Amandine Beyer. 

 Indeed, her casual manner of dress  and winning, warm smile made us feel we had been invited to an informal  cheerful gathering of gorgeous  baroque music.
The second offering was by Francesco Maria Veracini . Moving into a minor key, it was really interesting as the two flutes - beautifully played by Claire Guimond and Alexa Raine-Wright -  profoundly delved into plaintive emotions that lushly contrasted with sparse yet impeccable plucking on the strings.  
We were introduced to composers whose works swelled both with joy quelled by passages of melancholy. These gifted Italian-born geniuses included Albinoni, Marcello, Locatelli and Gallo. In each work the orchestra expressed a cohesive instinctive understanding in the music. This affinity stunningly conveyed varying emotional intensity.
The final piece highlighted Ms. Beyer’s virtuoso playing as she tackled Vivaldi’s Concerto in E minor for violin, strings and double bass. Tempestuous in parts, ghostly, moody, and furiously feverish, this,  exciting work  surely embodies the prolific composer’s dramatic side. We must remember that though styles of music have changed throughout the centuries, human beings’ emotions have not. What a thrilling combination to hear 400-year-old music performed by brilliant musicians – artists whose emotional depth captures this span of centuries the moment their bows touch their instruments!
Arion Baroque Orchestra’s next concert takes place April 11 -15. Bach, Handel, Quantz and Telemann are featured along with guest soloist Boris Begelman. 
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Call (514) 355-1825.

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