Music: The Splendour of Baroque

Wow, someone’s had a busy week. Came to a lovely end with the above concert in Hastings. I was really looking forward to this: I love the intimacy of Baroque music (an orchestra of around a dozen players) and it’s been ages since I actually played the bass. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realise is that it takes about 2.5 hours to get from my door to Hastings by train. Annoying on the way there, but exhausting on the way back: I had arranged for Ben to pick me up from Clapham Junction at 11:40pm, but unfortunately I fell asleep and had to phone him sheepishly from Victoria. But worry not: I got home, had a cup of tea and then slept in until 10am.

But back to the concert. I have played for Hastings Philharmonic Choir once before (in the White Rock theatre), so I knew that they were of a high standard, and that their conductor (the delightful and talented Hilary Davan Wetton) takes no prisoners. What I didn’t know was that St. Mary in the Castle is such an unusual and suitable venue to play in.

File:Pelham Crescent Hastings.JPG

The entrance to the place is set on the roadside there at the bottom, between a chip shop and a gift shop. When we arrived, I wasn’t even sure it was the right place. But you go in, towards the back (and into the cliff face, I suspect) and up a spiral staircase (tricky with a double bass) and suddenly you are in a generously sized concert auditorium.

We played quite a short concert (starting at 7:30 and finishing just after 9, with a 20 minute interval) but it was beautifully put together, finishing with a clean performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria”. With the choir, we also did a few Handel anthems and some Pergolesi. The orchestra got their chance to shine on their own as well, starting the concert with a beautiful Purcell piece and later, Bach’s famous “Air on a G String”.

As always, there were a few familiar faces (wherever I play in Sussex, I always seem to bump into a few people I know) and it was a pleasure to play with such talented musicians. Whilst it’s a long way to go, it’s always very much worth it. Plus, it keeps my musical mind working hard – the bass continuos of Baroque music are perfect for technical practice!

Oh yes: and it gives me a chance to remind my bass that I still love him 😉

Image credits: Concert flyer from HPC, exterior of St Mary in the Castle from Wikipedia, the rest are mine

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5 thoughts on “Music: The Splendour of Baroque

  1. Pingback: 100! « Unravelled

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