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I Fagiolini's sense of ensemble is impeccable
LDSM, Kendal Parish Church
A near-capacity audience attended the concert given by the distinguished vocal consort I Fagiolini.
The group, numbering just six singers, presented a varied programme ranging from English and French renaissance music, sacred and secular, Monteverdi madrigals, through to the complexities of late Britten and then on to a group of lighter items. In place of programme notes, Robert Hollingworth, director, gave verbal introductions which were both informative and entertaining and added greatly to the evening’s presentation.
From the start the group’s tuning and sense of ensemble was impeccable. Entries were made with precision and endings finally shaded. Janequin’s comical chanson Le chant des oyseaulx - a French tongue twister - was given an unstrained performance, from memory and complete with actions; while the complex textures of Britten’s virtuosic Eight Medieval Lyrics were clearly articulated with great attention to detail.
The most entertaining items were reserved until the end. A comic version of the Faust story (words by Timothy Knapman and music by Roderick Williams and given the title The Faust Show) revealed the singers’ ability to let their hair down and emphasise the ridiculous. This and the closing soufllé, a skit on the King’s Singers, brought an enthusiastic response from the audience.