Monday, April 27, 2009


...and intensely irritating!  Algirdas Vizgirda, that is, the ego-trip that runs and conducts the chamber group Muzika Humana.  The benefit of the doubt has had to be invoked a couple of times in the writing of this review. Like, presumably he had to play his own solo at the beginning of the concert because that is more nerve-wracking, so he wanted to get it over with. Like, he played the upper part (ie first flute) in a Loeillet sonata, with his French guest Philippe Bernold, for two flutes because his flute lacked a b-foot. I think. Would not have thought that in the baroque era flutes were so sophisticated that they might have had b-feet, but what do I know. It felt rather rude to the visitor..... But was it really necessary to give an encore at the end of the first half, when there had only been two curtain calls? Might never have made it to the third.

So it was a concert of French music from baroque to Honegger (who was Swiss but spent much of his life in France).

The Loeillet sonata was all right; seemed definitely like first flute and second (accompaniment, there did not seem to be that much exchange and interaction between the two. A standard baroque piece with standard movements. Bernold is a very elegant, stylish player (he's French, you would not expect anything less).   The last movement was rather breathtakingly fast, but it was a gigue, and again that's quite to be expected.

This was followed by Rameau's suite 'Les Fêtes d'Hébé' whoever or whatever Hébé might be. It was nice, though I wondered what at the time had been the difference between folk and non-folk music. A series of dances, the way they composed at the time. I thought the violins played too 'goody-goody', with long bows, whereas the cellist got the tone much more right - there was some lovely debate between the upper strings and the cello (he really is a good man, a stalwart of the band).  There was a new oboist in the band, who played very nicely, too.

The first half ended with Leclair's C major concerto for oboe and orchestra, with the other stalwart, Robertas Beinaris, as the soloist. Young Robertas is showing no signs of fading away, on the contrary. As usual his performance was high-class, and the piece was interesting. But it really was not necessary to give an encore of the second movement!

I left after that; not much into later French music....