Wonderful evening starts concert series at Harlaxton Manor

Janet Forbes and Douglas Hollick
Janet Forbes and Douglas Hollick
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This year’s series of concerts in aid of the Red Cross is billed on the charity’s website as “inspiring music in a magical setting, celebrating the 330th anniversary of J.S. Bach’s birth”.

The series got off to a wonderful start last Friday with a recital called Chameleon. It featured local singer and recorder-player, Janet Forbes, with regular accompanist Douglas Hollick on the organ.

My partner and I, who have known Janet for many years, had never heard her sing – or, indeed, play the recorder. We were neither of us disappointed: it turns out that Janet has a magnificent and powerful coloratura soprano voice which suited the chosen programme very well. Likewise, her skill on the recorder (she played several instruments) was superb. Douglas Hollick, of course, is well known as a consummate keyboard-player.

The programme was designed as a sort of musical club sandwich, with three sections of the songs and instrumental music of Bach himself bracketing two ‘fillings’ of the music of his predecessors / inspirers and of his contemporaries. The former included dances by Praetorius; and pieces by Scheidemann, Buxtehude and Frescobaldi. The middle ‘bread’ layer consisted of the complete sonata in E major by Bach, transposed to F major for recorder (with accompaniment). The second ‘filling’ consisted of arias by Stölzel, Pergolesi and Handel; and a recorder sonata by Telemann.

The evening was finished off with several further pieces by Bach.

The second and third concerts take place on May 22 (Nicolette Moonen on baroque violin and Medea Bindewald on harpsichord) and July 3 (Richard Tunnicliffe on cello).

More details are available on the website at bit.ly/1JFjL5i