Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver Opening Night
The opening night of Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver’s Australian tour in Perth was exceptional.
Richard Egarr’s preparation has clearly been meticulous and driven by overwhelming love of the repertoire. This is palpable in every member of the Academy, and soprano Sara is perfectly integrated icing on the musical cake.
Plenty of special mentions are due, but first and foremost to trumpeter David Blackadder, whose pyrotechnics on the natural trumpet are exceeded only by his awesome musicality. His skill and finesse was applauded by all – even those who weren’t aware of how nigh-impossible his instrument is to control. Principal oboe Frank de Bruin is equally impressive, thanks to the continuous stream of heart-melting moments that he kept pulling out of thin air. His several balancing duets with Sara were some of the finest ensemble playing I’ve ever heard with a singer.
Another extraordinary feature is the amazing violist, Jane, who single-handedly balances perfectly the 6 violinists (3+3). (This size ensemble would normally carry 2 or 3 violas). And this isn’t just a feat of volume, but of tone colour as well, somehow producing a timbre on one instrument that sounds like a whole section in perfect unison. The continuo players speak with one voice, with single cello and bass producing an impressive profundo when need in tutti sections.
Sara was in fine form and commanded both the stage and the ear, with laser-like focus on the music.
Richard was dazzling at the keyboard. He remains 110% focused on living every nuance and inflection of every note of the 2hour+ show.
This is a show of which Musica Viva Australia can be justly proud. I hope that everyone gets to see it.
– Carl Vine
Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver are currently touring Australia for Music Viva. For more information, and to book your tickets, please visit; musicaviva.com.au/aam