Review - The Four Seasons by Candlelight at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Four Seasons by Candlelight
Four Seasons by Candlelight

Music that has been around for many hundreds of years can easily be taken for granted. The most popular pieces are plucked from their original setting and morphed into backing tracks for adverts, films or TV programmes.

Listeners do not always have the chance to revisit that music, to let it soak in properly and really appreciate what it was originally meant to be.
This is one reason I valued the opportunity to see the Mozart Festival Orchestra perform some of the most famous pieces of Baroque music as part of The Four Seasons By Candlelight concert, which was held at Northampton's Royal and Derngate on Sunday.
The event is a lavish sight to behold, with each of the musicians richly dressed in beautiful 18th century costumes and wigs, surrounded by candelabras. It has an oddly transporting effect, as if dragging audience members back hundreds of years via a secret time machine at the box office.
The result helps to bring deserved attention to the age and beauty of the music being performed. The programme included such favourites as Stanley's Trumpet Voluntary, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Pachelbel's Canon.

The concert's second half was made up of a performance of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

The orchestral action was led by director David Juritz on violin. David is an impressive performer as not only was he able to direct the orchestra and wittily guide the audience through the facts and anecdotes linked to the music, he also demonstrated his high level of skill as a violinist (on his antique violin, which dates back to 1748).

His talents were particularly obvious in the rapid fingerwork passages of The Four Seasons.

Other highlights of the concert included appearances by the talented Crispian Steele-Perkins on trumpet and soprano Tereza Gevorgyan. Tereza's rendition of Handel's The Eternal Source of Light Divine, accompanied by Crispian, was really stunning and demonstrated perfect interplay between voice and instrument.

The concert, which is currently touring, is highly recommended for anyone who loves music, appreciates a high level of orchestral flair and would like to know a little more about some of the famous themes with which they have grown up.