Review of Back to Bach
Two great composers: one great orchestra
Last Thursday saw Milton Keynes Theatre's resident orchestra, the City Orchestra, returning to one of their great strengths, the music of the 18th century. And what music! The two greatest composers of the early years of that century, Handel and Bach, were given scintillating performances under the baton of the ebullient Hilary Davan Wetton. The appreciative audience also saw three of the orchestra's players, trumpeter Tim Hawes, violinist Diana Cummings and oboist Graham Salter joined by recorder player Rachel Beckett in an exhilarating romp through the second of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos. Two more of Bach's delicious concertos were included in the concert, including a performance of the Third Brandenburg Concerto that you won't hear better played anywhere. Handel's Water Music provided a festive start to the concert while a relative rarity by the same composer was a welcome discovery in a thoroughly enjoyable concert. Wetton is to be congratulated for once again showing that the Theatre works just as well for intimate music-making as for music on a larger scale.
Reviewer: Roy Tipping