The January sunshine added to this week’s lunchtime concert in which Learning Support Teacher Oliver Smith gave a beautiful performance of Bassano, Eyck and Hotteterre on the recorder. Accompanying Mr Smith was Harry Jacques on organ and harpsichord and Philla Seelig (Oakham School’s pupil) performing on cello.
Opening the concert was Bassano’s divisions on Susanne ung jour where Mr Smith portrayed the biblical story of Susannah and the Elders through delicate, flowing passages. Mr Smith’s breath control and sustain of melodic passages aid the reflection of this sinister story. The use of wide trills and a range of ornaments in this work decorated the divisions which filled The Church.
The second piece, Boffons was based around the movement of a bass line. This virtuosic work was performed on the descant recorder which has a focused timbre making the quick passages and trills sound crisp and precise. Mr Smith’s knowledge of the recorders and the musical works were reflected in his commentary throughout the concert.
Hotteterre’s Prelude in A minor created a sinister mood with slower passages combined with fast trills. The mellow timbre of the tenor recorder added to the sombre feel of the piece. Played on a recorder based upon those made in the 1730s. This tenor recorder as Mr Smith suggested is moving towards the look of a flute.
Mr Smith was joined by Mr Jacques and Philla Seelig for the final work, Suite in F Major by Hotteterre. This Suite saw a German Allemande and a rustic English Gigue. This Gigue had a playful bass-line played by Philla which captured the spirit of this dance.
Click here to watch it!