By Arachne


Takeaway from today: concert dress is a lot less prescriptive than it used to be. The three players of Universität Mozarteum Slazburg this morning (viola da gamba, viola d'amore, baroque cello, harpsichord and recorders) wore, respectively, black shirt over a black t-shirt with black trainers, black baggy trousers with gold lace-ups, a long black dress with a wide sparkly belt. An engaging programme included Giuseppe Sammartini's Recorder sonata no. 20 in Dmin with a must-hear-again section of pizzicato viola da gamba with recorder. Since they'd shuffled the order of their programme I had to check afterwards with the viola da gamba player which piece it was. He told me it was his favourite moment too and as I was enthusing on my way out another person told me it was their favourite bit.

Then a fascinating, erudite concert (blip) with William Whitehead playing music by Byrd and Lugge on muselar (a sort of virginal which is plucked in the middle of the string) and organ. His explanations of modes, rhythms and melodic forms meant I listened with my head not my heart - a quite different experience.

At the biennial Moeck Solo Recorder Competition I spotted a fellow-singer from Oxford who was taken aback to see me. For years she's come to the recorder competition then the winner's concert the following year but she doesn't stay for the rest of the festival. This is only my second time.

This evening's concert was exhilarating: Haydn and Mozart - not really early music but played on early instruments by the Experience Ensemble of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. They recreated the court of Esterhazy for themselves and the audience and put us in the role of critical listeners of newly-composed music - with permission to dance, though nobody squeezed out of the pews to do so. I have no photos of this performance - I was too busily engaged in their ruse. Their dress code seemed to be 'absolutely anything you like as long as it's black, with an optional twist of maroon (waistcoat, scarf...)'. It all goes to show that it matters not one jot what you wear as long as you're loving making music. They were nonplussed by being cheered back for an encore and had nothing prepared so decided to repeat a movement from earlier and asked us whether we wanted to hear something palindromic or something fast and loud. Fast and loud it was - a romp for everyone.

Sign in or get an account to comment.