How to buy your copy of the CD!
A review of our Pisendel CD has been published in The Times this morning where Richard Morrison refers to the disc as "a revelation"! Lovely as this is, the disc is not out on general release for another two weeks. In fact the only place that you can buy it is here - from us! If you would like to place an order then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take it from there. Thank you!
Posted: 3rd March 2012
IBP CD - "Pisendel"
Good news! Our CD is finally finished, and we're thrilled with the result. The release date is still a couple of weeks away but if you'd like a copy then please email us at email@example.com. It features works by Handel, Telemann, Pisendel, Fasch and Heinichen, most of which are premiere recordings. Those of you who attended our "Journey of Discovery" series last year will be familiar with some of these as we took them on tour.
Posted: 26th February 2012
A review of the CD written by Andrew Benson-Wilson of the Early Music Review is included below. It is the first review that we have had so far and hope that the others are as positive when they come!
"It’s no longer unusual that student musicians devote themselves to HIP performance after they finish their conservatory training; but it is slightly unusual that a whole ensemble grows out of a sharedstudent experience. Yet that is precisely what this debut recording celebrates – the International Baroque Players was born out of one year’s intake into the European Baroque Ochestra scheme and the Brittens-Pears Baroque Orchestra, and without any big name conductor at the helm, they have hopefully now made the big time. Their concerts in London, Oxford and elsewhere have acquired a loyal following and now everyone in the wider world gets the chance to share an exhilirating ride with a bunch of extremely talented youngsters.
Much of the group’s success has to be attributed to their leader, Johannes Pramsohler – a Tyrolean fiddler who thoroughly enjoys exploring music that “bigger name” bands, with their major record company backers breathing down their necks demanding ever greater sales, have left undiscovered. The whole premise of this disc is an exploration of the music written for the orchestra that was openly reckoned the world’s best at the time, the Hofkapelle in Dresden, and, more especially, for its many violin virtuosi. Chief amongst those, of course, was Johann Georg Pisendel, who started out as a rank and file player but ended up the group’s director.
Composers like Vivaldi (with whom he had lessons) and Telemann wrote pieces especially for him. The Telemann B flat concerto (TWV 51:B1) is included here, each of its four contrasting movements being keenly characterised by both band and soloist. The recital opens with a concerto by Fasch (FWV L: D8), in which the solo violoinist must share the limelight with a rich woodwind ensemble. This is followed by the piece that surprised me most: a concerto for violin and strings in A minor by Johann David Heinichen – he is best known for writing pretty tunes (and a thorough, if rather boring, treatise on figured bass), but here he out-Vivaldis the Red Priest himself with some breath-takingly virtuosic writing for the soloist, all dashed off as if it were a mere trifle by Pramsohler. Pisendel himself brings the disc to a close; a three movement work with horns, oboes and bassoons, the Concerto in G has hints of Zelenka about it, and yet more dazzling pyrotechnics for our soloist. But this is not a one-man show – the band is excellent, woodwinds adding punch to the tuttis, and delighting the ears with their sweet tones (especially in the slow movement of the Fasch), and the strings blending superlatively, yet allowing the individual lines to come through in a wholly natural way (I *loved* the rich viola tone!)
Nothing comes from nothing, and the success – within such a short period of time – that the International Baroque Players have already enjoyed can only be explained by real drive. The energy required also comes over in their performances and this is not a CD you are likely to listen to and put away on the shelves, never to be heard again. I love their passionate advocacy of this repertoire, and I hope this till be the first of many such revelatory programmes they will put together.
Congratulations, too, to Raumklang for superb recorded sound and the vision to sign these stars of the future!"
Welcome to our 2011-2012 season! We begin next week with an exciting programme of Christmas concerti. This will be on Tuesday 29th November at 7.30 in St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury. The rest of the season will unfold next year and we will post all new concerts up here as soon as they are confirmed.
Posted: 24th November 2011
We hope to see you at a concert soon!
We Did This (or "are doing")
Posted: 27th April 2011
Those of you who are regular visitors to our website and our Facebook will know that we have been fundraising for our debut disc for quite a while now. The exciting thing is that the campaign only has 4 days left and we are still hoping to raise £215. You can still support us at http://www.wedidthis.org.uk/projects/support-international-baroque-players and we hope very much that you will choose to.
We are starting the recording today after a great rehearsal day yesterday and it promises to be a fantastic disc. We can't wait to hear it already!
We will be writing something here about our next few concerts towards the end of May, but in the meantime we hope very much that you can support us - we really appreciate is and are so grateful to everyone who has donated so far.
Did you hear us?
We had a great time on "In Tune" yesterday on Radio 3. It was a great opportunity to publicise our upcoming concerts. However there were a couple of things that we didn't manage to say and so we'd like to say them here!
Posted: 2nd April 2011
The first is about our residency at Highgate School. We are so lucky to be able to rehearse there - they have fantastic facilities and incredibly they have a huge supply of baroque bows and instruments, as well as two harpsichords! It's great to be associated with somewhere that takes period performance so seriously and we are very glad to be there.
The next is that we have put ourselves online for crowd-funding! The state of arts funding at the moment is well-documented and organisations are having to be more and more original with their their fundraising. The website www.wedidthis.org.uk is enabling the public to fund new artistic projects. We are still collecting funds for our debut CD which we are recording in a month's time. The link for our campaign is here http://www.wedidthis.org.uk/projects/support-international-baroque-players. With packages starting at just £5 we really hope that you will choose to support the ensemble and really make a difference. The rewards are immense!
Thanks so much, and remember that you can still listen again online for a few days. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt7pc
Have you been missing us?
Guess what? We're delighted to say that (in case you've missed it) we're returning to stages in London, Bristol and Oxford this month. On the 22nd, 23rd and 24th to be precise. It's a veritable hum-dinger of a programme which will include Telemann's Violin Concerto "the Frogs", Platti's astoundingly gorgeous Concerto Grosso No.10 in F, a lute concert by Fasch, Vivaldi's Dresden Concerto RV192a and a romp through Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.3. We are so excited about this project and are already zealously going over our practice parts. More details on the project are available on our Concerts page.
Posted: 7th February 2011
In the meantime we'd like to show you a review of our last project, to give you an idea of what we have in store....
(Taken from Early Music Review January 2011, Andrew Benson-Wilson)
"Under the enticing title of “Journey of Discovery: Bach’s most secret desire...” the International Baroque Players (19 players from 12 countries) explored the music of Dresden during Bach's time, his (rather less than) secret desire being to become the Dresden Hofkappelmeister in practice as well as in name (29 Oct, St John’s, Smith Square). Starting with Zelenka's quirky Hipochrondrie, they included works by Heinichen, who held the job that Bach coveted, and Pisendel, the leader of the Dresden orchestra, the latter's Imitation des Caractères de la danse featuring a continuous stream of snippets of dances both courtly and bucolic. Fasch's Concerto for violin, flutes, oboes and strings completed the Dresden representatives, with music by Handel, WF and JS Bach knocking the socks of the local lads. WF Bach's Adagio and Fugue in D minor was given a magical performance, with muted violins under a haunting sustained flute note. JS Bach's Concerto for oboe and violin gave Joel Raymond and leader Johannes Pramsohler a well-taken chance to shine. Flautists Eva Caballero and Yu-Wei Hu were also exceptional performers. It is great to see and hear the self-evident verve and enthusiasm of this ambitious group of young players."
Don't risk missing out!
Did you hear us on Radio 3?
Well well, it appears that we have just made our first ever radio broadcast! In fact, you may even be visiting us for the first time having Googled us after the show. If that's the case then WELCOME and thanks for visiting us!
Posted: 14th November 2010
There's plenty to get you integrated into the warm baroque bosom of IBP - for those of you who like to keep up to date with our every move you might want to add us on Facebook. For instant gratification right now you can find videos and MP3s (some of which featured today on the radio) on our Media page. Our Concerts page lets you know where you can see us next. Lovely as it is to listen to us, we are also a visual delight (according to one member of our Oxford audience last month).
And of course, as you will have heard on the radio, we run ourselves! There is no big management behind us, there is no huge business ploughing in thousands of pounds. IF you would like to join up as a Friend you can sign up to our Pulse scheme on the Support page. The rewards are varied and wondrous. Please sign up if you can - £10 feeds a violinist for a night, £5 buys a splendid set of earplugs for the viola section etc. But seriously, we are so grateful for the support that we have received and continue to receive. Please do join us if you can.
We'll keep going as long as you want us! We hope that this broadcast is the first of many...
The last two weeks...
Well, as those of you who follow us surely know, it has been something of a marathon two weeks! We've had the first part of our Journey of Discovery Series in London, Oxford and Cheltenham, we rehearsed with Emma Kirkby and performed for a private audience in London and the Brighton Early Music Festival, a small group of us played for 60 festival promoters, and we recorded a profile for Radio 3! Now that we have had a little time to catch up on sleep it seems to be an ideal time to review how far we have come, and also to look ahead of course.
Posted: 8th November 2010
It seems amazing to consider that the IBP first performed as a group in February 2009. We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, and to every player who has given his our her time to our projects. There is an extraordinary sense of goodwill to this group, and we believe that this easily traverses the space between performer and audience. Of course, it helps that we play consistently amazing music to the high standards that we set for ourselves.
It seems appropriate to review our journey so far on the day that we have received our first review in a national newspaper. The project with Emma Kirkby was a fantastic experience and we really enjoyed working with her. Not only was she a musical inspiration, but she was really keen to chat to all the players on a one-to-one basis and sat in to hear us rehearse outside of her scheduled rehearsal times. We hope to collaborate with her again some day if she will have us!
We hope that you will continue to support us and keep up to date with our progress, whether through joining our Facebook page or signing up as a Friend on our support page. With plenty planned for next year, we promise not to disappoint!
Below is the text from our review in today's Telegraph by Ivan Hewett. Enjoy!
"The Brighton Early Music Festival is like the town it lives in – amiable, off-beam, full of intriguing and unexpected corners. This year’s theme of “Ritual” has embraced Ukrainian choirs, evocations of medieval pilgrimages, and a brand-new commission. On this occasion, the concert came under the banner “Rites of Remembrance”, honouring the memory of festival patron Vivienne Carter.
Remembrances can be sombre, but, in fact, this concert felt uplifting for all sorts of reasons. St George’s church in Brighton is a lofty, cheerful space, and it was packed with an enthusiastic crowd.
The stage presented a pleasing metaphor of generations joined in a ceremonial, the older faces of the festival’s specially formed choir contrasting with the young faces of the International Baroque Players, who are still in their twenties.
And there was the music, which was cleverly chosen to capture many moods: grief, angry protest, resignation, and that dignified collective mourning that music does so well.
There was a good range of style, too, beginning with three a cappella Renaissance settings of King David’s lament for his son Absalom. Here (and also in the astonishingly bold Vox in Rama by the Flemish composer Giaches de Wert in the second half), intensity came from the grinding dissonances and the way they “sigh” downwards to their resolution, an effect that the choir under its director Deborah Roberts really savoured.
With the Baroque pieces an operatic display of emotion came on to the scene. The strangest and most riveting of them was The Lament of Arianna by Pietro Locatelli. The harmony twists and turns in a squirm-inducing imitation of Arianna’s doleful state, and her desperate pleadings are mimed by a solo violin – a startling effect brilliantly captured here by the orchestra’s leader, Johannes Pramsohler.
In the other pieces, the lamenting figure – whether it was Orfeo lamenting Euridice, or Jepthe’s daughter, or Dido in Purcell’s famous lament, or Tancredi mourning the beloved he had inadvertently killed – was impersonated by a real live human being.
This was no less a figure than Emma Kirkby. This legendary voice of early music was clearly determined not to act like the visiting star. But the star she certainly was.
The voice may not have its old bloom, and she may not seize the words with the virtuoso fury of someone like Bartoli, but she brings something maybe more valuable – a feeling for the tender, human core concealed under apparently conventional emotions."
We've been a little quiet recently, and we apologise! But we've been hard at work organising stuff for our 2010-2011 season which kicks off tomorrow night at LSO St Luke's near Old Street tube. We are playing Music from London's Pleasure Gardens and will be joined by the rather wonderful soprano Mary Bevan. On this occasion Christopher Bucknall is in the driving seat, directing us from the harpsichord. Do come and join us if you can! And if you can't make it to London then perhaps you can join us the following day in Oxford at the University Church? Both concerts start at 7.30 pm and the programme includes works by Handel, Arne, Scarlatti and Boyce.
Posted: 22nd September 2010
We hope to see you there!
When Ignorance is literally Bliss
It seems that accessibility is a real buzz word for people involved in managing arts organisations. And quite rightly so; in a world where classical music is no longer the exclusive privilege of the wealthy there is really nothing stopping anyone from listening to classical music. But, the question is, do they really want to?
Posted: 7th May 2010
In part the image of snobbery does still persist. Recently after an IBP concert I was told by a friend that she had really enjoyed it, but then she qualified this by saying “oh, but I don’t know anything about it” as if that somehow made her opinion less valid and less important. Unwittingly she had set my mind working. Perhaps this is a common perception – that one needs to know something about classical music in order to be able to enjoy and appreciate it.
In my opinion this view is totally redundant, but part of making what we do truly accessible must involve debunking this myth. There is surely a way of doing this without caving in to unimaginative programming based around a romanticised version of Pachelbel’s Kanon. In fact, how about setting our sights much higher and aiming to build on the existing knowledge of our audiences at whatever level, without excluding the classical music “virgins”. In an age where digital downloads are a rapidly growing form of distribution, an orchestra these days has to appeal to the younger demographic as well as preserving established older audiences.
Sir Henry Wood seemed to find a fantastic solution to this problem of accessibility in the 1890s by putting on his Promenade concerts, which we now know simply as the Proms. The premise was excellent, basically telling the masses “we’re all having a massive musical party, why not come on down and join us?”. This has created a truly accessible forum for musical excellence to the exclusion of none, and gives out an all-embracing image of classical music.
So how can we do this today? Which methods do we have at our disposal to reach out to audiences? Well, of course, to begin with we have the ubiquitous Facebook. And every group these days seems to have a website within ten minutes of first playing a note together. The technology here is helpful in providing a try before you buy option with access to videos, MP3s, pictures and biographies. A comprehensive overview is available instantly. This is a fantastic aid for anyone clinging to the side of the classical music swimming pool. And for those wishing to ditch their arm bands entirely there is always iTunes just a click away. There are no barriers for people who wish to take the plunge.
But of course, whether virtual or physical, you need to get your audience there in the first place. In terms of working this one out, it seems that Gabriel Prokofiev knows a thing or two, as shown by the huge popularity of his NONCLASSICAL nights in which is pioneering work has taken contemporary music and stretched it to its absolute limit. Perhaps the biggest difference between that and strict “classical music” is a question of relevance. NONCLASSICAL gives us classical music for this generation and, understandably, people want to know what music of our generation sounds like. Demonstrating the relevance of classical music is a trickier issue. And here we are, back in our beginners swimming lane, puffing furiously into our arm bands.
The fantastic truth of it seems to be, however, that you don’t really need to know anything about classical music to be able to enjoy it. That’s the job of the musicians! I might go and see some ballet and enjoy it but I don’t know the first thing about it. If you go to a concert no-one will quiz you on the lost works of Hasse, your opinion of Robert Levin’s reconstruction of Mozart’s C Minor Mass or your thoughts on Bach sung in English. We only hope that you enjoy our concerts. The Baroque era gave us the most musically accessible works available. There is no catch.
Based on the optimistic idea that everyone has a sense of humour (apart, perhaps, from people working at airline check-in desks when confronted with an instrument) we’ve been promoting ourselves using cartoons. And for our upcoming Journey of Discovery series we’ll be collaborating with a photographer to bring you some extraordinary landscapes in the spirit of discovery. It is probably also worth pointing out that, despite being musicians, we really are fairly normal. In fact we go to the nearest pub after every concert, and invite you to join us. Musicians and beer have been inextricably linked throughout the centuries and we are delighted to report that we are no exception. It’s another part of historical performance which we zealously respect. Although none of us has yet become so drunk as to start a fight with a bassoonist, as J.S. Bach one famously did outside the Black Bear pub in Weimar.
So, do keep an eye on us! We’re always happy to hear from you and it’s crucial in shaping what we do. If only I had a swimming metaphor with which to finish. Ah well, I suppose we’re only human.
Early Music Review (Andrew Benson-Wilson) - April 2010
The International Baroque Players are a talented group of “smart and stylish twenty-somethings” that formed themselves out of one of the EUBO incarnations and Aldeburgh. Although they have a recognised director in Johannes Pramsohler, they give the strong impression of working as a collective – and gain musically as a result. Their concert at St Giles in the Fields (18 Feb) had the title of “Friends for Life – Handel and Telemann”, a reflection on both the two composers, and, it seems, on the nature of the group itself. They particularly impressed in Telemann’s three Concertos for Four Solo Violins – not only extraordinary works in their own right, but a real test of the depth of musical talent in the orchestra, as every one of the violinists had a chance to have their solo spot. And it was clear that there were very obviously no “back-desk” players – all excelled. The evening opened with Handel’s Overture to Orlando, a taste of the high musical standard to come. Even for the most experienced of players, the first few bars of a concert can be fraught, but these talented young players demonstrated perfect blend and cohesion from the start. Telemann’s well-named Sinfonia Spirituosa in D was a rousing opening to the second half, as was the following Handel Sonata a 5 (HWV 288), giving Johannes Pramsohler a prominent solo role. They also played a couple of Handel Concerti Grossi. This was an excellent concert by some very talented and enterprising players.
Posted: 5th April 2010
Early Music Today (01/02/2010) Up and Coming - International Baroque Players
A group of twenty-somethings playing in Soho hotspots and commissioning cartoons as publicity: not your average baroque ensemble, perhaps. The International Baroque Players (IBP) is the latest group to take an up to date approach to promoting and communicating classical music. And it has the walk to match the talk, with all members, drawn from nine countries, in demand among the top European period bands.
Posted: 6th February 2010
The group was formed late in 2008, following a Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme in which the bulk of the group was participating. “It was one of those courses where everything comes together brilliantly, musically as well as socially,” explains general manager and viola player Aliye Cornish. “We substituted in a few people from the European Union Baroque Orchestra (EUBO) , because quite a few of us had done that as well. Because we all knew each other, we were all excited about embarking on this adventure together. That was what made people want to come back and play for free, sleep on sofas for a week, and all sorts of things.”
The group’s emphasis is on communication, youthful enthusiasm, and putting on well-known music alongside more unusual repertoire – including a recent performance of an unrecorded violin concerto by Pisendel and a “Fast and Furious” programme of Italian virtuosity. Other engagements include an appearance in February at London Limelight, the 100 Club’s night of “classical music in a rock and roll setting”, with a programme of Vivaldi, Hasse and Platti. “It’s a great opportunity for us”, says Cornish of the Limelight gig, “because you get to reach a whole new audience – people that wouldn’t necessarily go to a concert and sit down and listen to a symphony all the way through. So we decided to put together a programme showing why we love playing baroque music – little gems that help to explain the allure of the baroque era to those that haven’t necessarily explored it much before.”
Putting concerti grossi in a bar setting could be cringeworthy in the wrong hands, but one suspects IBP will be wise to its audience. “We’re hoping to get people laughing and really engaging with what we’re doing” says Cornish. “I don’t think anyone wants to hear us talking about biographical detail in that sort of setting. The idea is to have a bit of a laugh and a really good time playing some wonderful music.”
And the fun doesn’t stop on-stage. IBP has commissioned cartoon publicity from a German graphic-designer contact of Johannes Pramsohler. “He did one for us for a concert of Music for the Dresden Nobility in September, so he had four composers on a plane drinking champagne and gin and tonic, with some saucy looking air stewardesses. People don’t tend to promote concerts like that, they don’t bring out the fun element in what they do, and we just think that’s a terrible shame.”
IBP is currently planning projects for later in 2010. For more information, visit www.internationalbaroqueplayers.com.
We have a little diversion here on the IBP blog from our usual sales pitches and the like. We're going to start publishing articles here (from time to time) from members of the ensemble on different aspects of what we do, whether it's performance practice, the role of the performer, why we do what we do etc....
Posted: 2nd February 2010
We'd like you to step aside for the moment and consider the idea of spontaneity in music, put to you by one of our viola players and General Manager, Aliye Cornish.
All too often I find myself in situations where I am listening to a performance and, by all accounts, it is very good. The playing is technically assured, the sound can be manipulated to great effect, the intonation is flawless and the performance is carried off with panache and personality. Yet somehow I’m not transported, I don’t shiver and I don’t feel genuine excitement for the music. Is it naive to expect this from every performance? Perhaps, but when I have been fortunate enough to attend a performance which inspires all of these things I feel that something different is at work. There seems to be an extra-musical element which inspires a different energy in the audience. Often these performances are distinguished by a sense of spontaneity, where the audience is literally hanging on for the next part of the story. To communicate effectively this is surely a crucial part of the performance. In my opinion the difference in these performances comes down to different attitudes in the musicians.
The way in which we prepare for a performance is inevitably going to influence the performance in terms of our technical ability and accuracy. However to be truly free and spontaneous in a performance one must have less attachment to a particular musical outcome. When the desired view of how a piece should sound is set in stone in the mind of the performer then it is likely to only ever deviate from this in a minimal way. A more open approach should not be confused with a casual attitude towards the music, rather the opposite. It is caring about the music which should be one’s motivation for addressing their attitudes towards its execution. This openness of attitude relies to a great degree on a solid technique, as more freedom can emerge when a player has a full artillery of tones, textures, articulations and other musical nuances at their disposal. Thus the time spent in practice rooms is used to its maximum advantage and the musicianship of the performer(s) is given more of a chance to be demonstrated. To a degree this is still possible in larger ensembles although obviously more aspects of the performance such as articulations, bowings and breaths need to be standardized in advance. Here the extra-musical element is heavily reliant on the director, which is generally easier to detect for the audience. For example, Bernard Haitink is internationally known as a “great” conductor. In rehearsals he will never over-rehearse, supports the musical intentions of the players during solo passages (even when they are 60 years his junior and far less experienced) and will often cast a magic spell over an audience with his complete control juxtaposed with a large degree of musical freedom. This to me seems like a marvellous example of the synergy possible between creativity and accuracy in performance. I suspect that part of this comes with maturity as a person as well as a musician, and therefore to expect to encounter it constantly would seem ridiculous.
I suppose that as an ensemble one frequently seeks to attain this experience. This is one of the aspects about the work of the International Baroque Players that seems to make it stand out - in a chamber ensemble of 20 or so players it can be rare to experience a sense of risk and danger! This is part of what we are constantly building for ourselves and it is one of our best attributes. To challenge our pre-conceptions, to take a leap of faith as an ensemble and to frequently surprise ourselves. These are all things that help keep our work fresh and stimulating. We hope that if you haven't yet encountered the group that this might inspire you to do so. And if you have, well, we hope that we've provided food for thought.
Well, it's nearly the end of the month and so we're looking ahead to everything that we have to look forward to here at IBP. There's a small feature on us in the next issue of Early Music Today, and the Feb 13th issue of Classical Music Magazine will feature an in depth look at the ensemble. This is all part of the build up of course to our February concerts!
Posted: 28th January 2010
We're looking forward to returning to London Limelight, the informal classical music night in the heart of the city. If you like what you hear that night and decide to come to hear us in St Giles in the Fields a couple of days later we can give you a ticket for £5 if you present your Limelight ticket at our box office. Well worth it for a night of top-notch entertainment. We like to look after our audiences wherever possible!
With four concerts in a week and plenty of media attention it's inevitable that the IBP are becoming ubiquitous! So join us, it's always a good night when we're around...
Firstly, a huge thank you to everyone who attended our concerts in Oxford and London this week. We had two wonderfully enthusiastic audiences and we hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as they seemed to.
Posted: 21st January 2010
The Oxford Times reviewed our concert on Monday 18th January in the Holywell Music Room. The text of it is included below.
Money-savvy Bach, and cash-strapped Scarlatti: they may not have had much in common financially, but they had musical links, as this concert set out to prove. Other links in the musical chain were Vivaldi, Corelli, Bach, Geminiani, and a rarity: Charles Avison, who was born in Newcastle on Tyne in 1709, and studied in London with Geminiani.
An obvious link between the composers was that three of them were represented by Concerti Grossi, each scored for string orchestra, and each featuring trademark contrasts between slow and fast movements. Corelli’s op 6, no 1 came first, and rapidly got into its stride with an energetic and furious Allegro, followed by a dreamy Largo that could easily have been penned by Vivaldi. The string sound, gutsy where appropriate, was most effectively backed by Christopher Bucknall’s harpsichord and Magnus Andersson’s theorbo.
There were appropriate contrasts, too, in the next linked piece, Avison’s Concerto Grosso after Scarlatti. Avison must have had some top-notch musicians under his command if the virtuoso Con Furia and Vivacemente movements were originally played with the clarity and speed given to them here. After a piece inspired by Scarlatti we heard the man himself – his Concerto Grosso no 3, which has a jolly opening Allegro, then a more contemplative Largo, then jumps back to another Allegro. Scarlatti can sound austere, but he seemed most approachable in this performance.
Two concertos for solo instruments were included in the mix, Bach’s Violin Concerto in E major, with Johnannes Pramsohler as a discreet soloist who sometimes retired a little too much into the background, and Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in G, despatched with confidence by Tomasz Pokrzywinski.
Drawing all the musical strands together in conclusion was Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso after Corelli. The Players seemed particularly at home in this piece, and their enthusiasm conveyed itself to the audience very effectively
Giles Woodforde, Oxford Times
Join us tomorrow!
If you're based in or around London and like being entertained then please join us tomorrow! We're playing at St George's Hanover Square at 7.30. All the details are on our Concerts page and you can find a taster of what we do on the Media page.
Posted: 19th January 2010
We played in the Holywell Music Room in Oxford last night and had a great time, despite the cold hall! It always strikes us how much people enjoy International Baroque Players concerts - the feedback is markedly more enthusiastic than other concerts that we participate in. Talent, hard work, multi-cultural approaches and friendship. A heady mix! And when one throws in boundless enthusiasm and fantastic music the potential is truly extraordinary.
So please, if you're free tomorrow night do come along. We're fun, we're exciting and although we're dedicated to our work we certainly don't take ourselves too seriously. We hope to see you tomorrow and have a glass of wine with you in the interval.
Well, half a glass maybe...
Musical Opinion Review
Rather excitingly we've just managed to locate this review from the November/December edition of Musical Opinion magazine, Britain's oldest classical music magazine. We hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did!
Posted: 14th January 2010
Musical Opinion December 2009
Review by Robert Matthew-Walker
Founded only last February (2009) the youthful members of the International Baroque Players (truly international – 10 countries represented in their ranks) gave a remarkable concert at St Giles in the Fields London on September 25th, under the title “Music for the Dresden Nobility”. This was period playing par excellence, the group representing the next generation of period professional performers – embracing the latest in terms of tuning (we assume A=415), senza vibrato sempre, bowing and phrasing – allied to an almost tangible delight in presenting their programme with a combination of sensitive and virtuosic musicianship that was utterly convincing.
The opening Fuga and Grave for strings in G minor, more probably by Franz Xaver Richter but sometimes ascribed to Johann Adolf Hasse, got the concert off to an impressive start – not least in the sheer volume of sound that the 15 players produced. It was an equally remarkable contrast to hear Bach’s D minor Double Violin Concerto played by a band of just eight musicians – including soloists Johannes Pramsohler (the director) and Stephen Pedder (shades of Fritz Kreisler and Efrem Zimbalist with string quartet from 1915!). This may have taken a bit of getting used to but in the end one was completely won over. Pramsohler and Pedder were joined by Adam Lord and Holly Harman for a four-violin Concerto by Telemann, the qualitative difference between Bach and Telemann made manifest; the first half ended with a “Dresden” Concerto, a rare Sinfonia in C by Vivaldi. In Zelenka’s Simphonie a 8 in A minor and Fux’s Ouverture a 7 in D minor winds joined strings and continuo, the compelling musicianship of all were deeply impressive in these highly resourceful and shamefully neglected works. Johannes Pramsohler was the soloist in Pisendel’s G minor Concerto – once, apparently, attributed to Handel – another remarkable work in sonata da chiesa style. All in all, this was a terrific concert- the International Baroque Players are really going places. Try to catch them at the 100 Club in Oxford Street on January 19th in tandem with percussion virtuosi O Duo; it should be quite a night.
PLEASE NOTE - Since the publication of this review the date of our Limelight appearance has changed. It will now be on February 16th and we will be supporting violinist Jack Liebeck. It should however, still be "quite a night"!
Welcome to the new home of IBP!
If you are one of our regular visitors you’ll notice that we’ve had quite a facelift! And those of you who have found us for the first time have chosen your moment well. There are plenty of extra features here with videos from our project in September 2009, a gallery comprising photos taken in the last 10 months and new mp3 clips. You’ll also find that this blog is a quick and accessible way to keep up to date with the latest from IBP headquarters, including new concert dates, interviews, reviews and more.
Posted: 3rd January 2010
We love hearing from people and so if you have any questions or comments please do feel free to make use of the contact details at the bottom of the page. We have plenty of plans for January and February and hope very much to see you at our concerts.
In the meantime however...enjoy the site!