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Review – Vivaldi By Candlelight at The Grand

A very decent turnout braved a wintry Blackpool evening for this performance by the Locrian Ensemble.  This select group of performers have made a name for themselves doing nights largely devoted to one major composer, performing in the dress of the period.  This one, as you might have guessed, featured the work of Antonio Vivaldi with the second half given over to all four concertos in the Four Seasons.

The musical performances were interspersed with some speeches by the Ensemble’s Artistic Director and lead cellist Justin Pearson.  These were very entertaining and informative, except perhaps for a supposed real anecdote about sending knickers to a cathedral music director instead of gloves which could have been lifted from a Ronnie Corbett monologue.

Among the more conventional instruments was a bass lute, or theorbo to give its Sunday best name.  The lady who played this took the audience through the unique features of the instrument, including the very long neck and the much wider range of notes than an ordinary lute.

The second half of the performance saw Rita Manning take centre stage as lead violist.  Her performance was superb, and she was ably supported by the rest of the septet.  The audience were very appreciative, and asked for and received an encore which was more light-hearted than what had gone before but equally well received.

Well done to The Grand for getting The Locrian Ensemble to the resort again.  They have topped the classical album charts, they are skilled players and they ensure the interludes are also enjoyable.

(Note – the promotional photograph above does not include a theorbo….)

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