Ensemble
North America
Acclaim
The answer was in the seats

We heard a selection of 10 pieces from Jean-Philippe Rameau’s (1683-1764) Second Book for Harpsichord (1724). The arrangement was made by Raaf Hekkema, Calefax’s saxophonist. His arrangement is truly brilliant and it emphasizes the elegance of the music, as well as the dynamic sense of the diverse dances: allemande, rigaudon, courante, etc.

We witnessed incredibly brilliant moments, like the fifth piece “Le rappel des oiseaux”, with an extremely virtuosic d’amore oboe and soprano saxophone. It encompassed the imitation of birds singing, a solid contrapuntal support. A very precise rhythmic sense characterized this piece, which was consolidated by Calefax’s notable coordination in playing this naturalistic music, so distinctive of the French musical taste of the 17th century. The rest of the pieces were equally interpreted in a refined and brilliant way, such as the tutti passages, where Calefax demonstrated a fierce capacity to make audible each one of its voices as well as the diverse polyphonic dialogues.

A magnificent Alban Wesly on the bassoon … transformed balance into a perfect entry to the full audibility of every motif, all within an expressive musical dissection of the themes.

The public responded to this multi-faceted experience, to this journey in time, by completely surrendering to the ensemble with prolonged ovations. Calefax then played two more pieces, with which they revisited Rameau’s pentagrams. These pieces were as neatly executed as in the first part of the program.

 

Paco Yáñez, Mundoclassico.com
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