Academy of Ancient Music/Hogwood, Barbican Hall, London
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The Independent Culture

Though the big draw for this programme was virtuoso violinist Giuliano Carmignola, soprano Christiane Oelze's poised performances of Agatha's Cavatina, Scena and Aria from Der Freischütz stole the show. Delicately detailed, smoothly spun and meticulously phrased, Oelze's singing was impeccable. In Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto Carmignola's tone was austere to the point of astringency. Ill at ease in all but the most technically demanding passages, he whipped Christopher Hogwood's already nimble tempi to even greater excesses. Perhaps he had a plane to catch? Britain's leading period instruments orchestra played superbly, with the ebullient bluster of the natural horns at the close of the Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony bringing broad grins to the faces of an already delighted audience.

Though the big draw for this programme was virtuoso violinist Giuliano Carmignola, soprano Christiane Oelze's poised performances of Agatha's Cavatina, Scena and Aria from Der Freischütz stole the show. Delicately detailed, smoothly spun and meticulously phrased, Oelze's singing was impeccable. In Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto Carmignola's tone was austere to the point of astringency. Ill at ease in all but the most technically demanding passages, he whipped Christopher Hogwood's already nimble tempi to even greater excesses. Perhaps he had a plane to catch? Britain's leading period instruments orchestra played superbly, with the ebullient bluster of the natural horns at the close of the Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony bringing broad grins to the faces of an already delighted audience.

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