La Scena Musicale

Monday, 7 December 2009

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin closes The Montreal Bach Festival

By Hannah Rahimi

The Montreal Bach Festival concluded on Saturday, December 5 with a concert featuring the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, one of the world's most highly regarded baroque ensembles.
The Notre Dame Basilica was an unfortunate choice acoustically, as the massive hall often swallowed up the sound of the small, thirteen-member ensemble. However, bad acoustics, a fidgety audience and the rumbling sounds of what appeared to be distant fireworks did little to detract from the impact of the Akademie’s performance. The orchestra presented works by Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi with evident love for the baroque repertoire, each instrumentalist moving to the music with joyful ease. The musicians played with a unity of vision and an elegant precision, as well as proving that it is possible for baroque instruments to play perfectly in tune.
Flutist Christoph Huntgeburth approached Telemann’s Concerto in D major with a delicate but assured sense of style, impressive articulation and a beautifully clear tone. Violinists Midori Seiler and Georg Kallweit performed Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, floating through the Largo ma non tanto in a simple, understated fashion that served to bring out the inherent beauty in the composition.
This was a memorable concert to close the Bach Festival, showing audiences what ensembles of the highest musicianship can achieve.

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