Last night I returned to Rotherhithe to hear another concert by Musica Antica – having first heard the group perform, and interviewed the group’s co-founder Oliver Doyle, earlier this year.
Like that summer concert, Holy Trinity church – with its excellent acoustic – was packed. But unlike that concert, we arrived in autumnal darkness, which enabled the performance to take place by the magic of candlelight.
The programme was music by Lully and Charpentier, among others, but one of the highlights of the evening was an unfamiliar name: Antonia Bembo (1640-c.1720). Her song Ha, Que l’absense was sung beautifully by the counter-tenor Tristram Cooke, as a break in the middle of a theorbo suite. He sang sitting down, side-on to the audience, totally out of the spotlight, which made its impact all the more startling.
As I discovered back in the summer, this group are presenting less familiar early music in an approachable and imaginative way. I strongly recommend signing up to their mailing list to follow their future events.