Adelaide Baroque: Barocco
North Adelaide Baptist Church, 28 July 2013

JUST an hour, without interval, packed with musical incident and flavoursome morsels of Baroque ingenuity.

That clever combination kept listeners alert after Sunday lunch as they appreciated some energetic and sparkling performances by Brendan O’Donnell, Jackie Hansen and Katrina Brown on recorder, baroque bassoon and harpsichord respectively.

There was plenty of sun in their almost exclusively Italian program from the 17th century benefiting from the church’s refined acoustic and the gracefully enticing tones of the baroque bassoon, not an instrument especially well known in a solo capacity.

But Jackie Hansen, more familiar as our ASO’s principal contrabassoonist, was in her element producing subtle ear-candy ranging from the eloquent to bee-in-a-matchbox buzzing when necessary.

The composer of their final number, Bartolomeo de Selma, was apparently a virtuoso exponent and allowed her full latitude in his Canzon Quarta a doi Basso e soprano.

Frescobaldi’s harpsichord solo Toccata Settima was performed with stylish poise by Katrina Brown, a fine artist heard all too rarely around the state. She produced some wonderfully long expressive lines with tremendous character and a real sense of dramatic timing that would have rivalled the best concert pianists for colour and effect.

Youthful recorder player Brendan O’Donnell led the ensemble with plenty of panache and enthusiasm. 

The complex decoration of Marini’s Romanesca, partnering Hansen’s Bassoon, proved no challenge for his technique and sonic felicities as they demonstrated the capacity of Baroque music to transcend the centuries.

Rodney Smith, The Advertiser, 29 July 2013