Eighteenth Century Concert Orchestra

Cockermouth Music Society’s Christmas concert went ahead in the United Reformed Church as usual, in spite of the return of floods in Cockermouth, as the upper floor where the concerts are held (and where the lovely Steinway grand piano lives) was still able to be heated and well lit and was untouched by water. A parade of brocade coated and bewigged musicians entered in a procession behind the stately candlemaster and to the joy of the audience proceeded to play tuneful baroque music, string and woodwind players circling a full size harpsichord. The Eighteenth Century Orchestra has played in many more prestigious venues but all players agreed that the URC provided the intimate and friendly atmosphere in which such an orchestra with its mellow sounds would have played two hundred years ago. A Prelleur Interlude was followed by a lively Purcell Trumpet Sonata , the solo trumpet being played with impressive vigour by Adrian Woodward, and a Telemann Concerto for Oboe d’Amore displayed the versatility of oboists Mark Baigent and Cait Walker. Corelli’s Christmas Concerto gave the violinists David Lewis and Judith van Ingen a chance to shine, ably accompanied by violist Lewis King, cellist Rachel Grey and double bass player Mike Escreet. A Handel Concerto Grosso, a Graupner Overture and John Stanley’s spirited Trumpet Voluntary followed after the interval. Lalande’s Noels-en-trio celebrating the Nativity and a Handel Suite completed a programme which at all times featured confident continuo playing from harpsichordist Katharine May.