REVIEW: Critically-acclaimed group were enthralling, amusing, amazing.

Baroque group Red Priest

Baroque group Red Priest

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Red Priest, Alnwick Music Society, Tuesday, October 21, Alnwick Playhouse.

A near full house heard a scintillating concert given by internationally-acclaimed group, Red Priest.

Piers Adams (recorders), Julia Bishop (baroque violin), Angela East (baroque cello) and David Wright (harpsichord) showed there is nothing elitist about Johann Sebastian Bach’s music, as they bounced around the stage. From the moment they began with an arrangement of the Preludio from the Partita in E major for violin, played at breath-taking speed, they had the audience enthralled, amused by their comments and amazed at their brilliance.

Adams seamlessly changed from descant, to treble, bass and sopranino recorders between and during numbers.

Between the pyrotechnics in works like the Brandenburg Concerto No.3, there were examples of superb lyrical playing in the Adagio from the Oboe Sonata in G minor, and the violin playing of Bishop in the Arioso from the Harpsichord Concerto in F minor. East proved her virtuosity in the solo Prelude from the Cello Suite No.1, but using the copy made by Bach’s wife Anna Magdalena, who was not too careful in her transcriptions. She told the audience that she thought it would be interesting to play exactly what Anna Magdalena had written. The players, including the cellist, stood to play another dazzling arrangement for an encore. The Society is to be congratulated in bringing such an exciting international group to Alnwick.

The next concert is a piano recital with Piers Lane at Alnwick Castle’s Guest Hall on November 20.

REVIEW BY BRYAN JACKSON