Thursday, March 16, 2017
It’s quite the opportunity to experience the rare musical excellence of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. A part of CAMA’s Masterseries, the concert J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation featured a broad selection of pieces from the titular composer, accompanied by eloquent narrations from Blair Williams. Having impressively memorized the series of compositions, the 15-member orchestra wandered comfortably about the stage with broad smiles and a distinct camaraderie to Williams’s recitation of music’s mythological origins. Highlights of the first half featured Bach’s vibrant Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major and an enchanting harpsichord solo Sinfonia in G Minor, performed by Tafelmusik’s James Johnstone.
The concert’s second half acted as a music lesson, with the orchestra demonstrating the power of canons found in the first eight notes of the Goldberg Variations, to Williams’s articulate explanation of how the featured instruments were created, from material sourcing to physical construction. The evening’s high point was a magnificent rendition of the Brandenburg Concerto first movement, jovial in melody and the orchestra’s clear enjoyment of performing the piece. Fascinating, the concert’s verbal discourse on the creation of music paired with such orchestral talent made for quite the unforgettable evening.