I heard soprano Angela Malek with La Follia Sunday evening at San Fernando Cathedral as part of Musical Evenings with Musical Bridges Around the World.
1. Things began before the concert, in front of San Fernando with period demonstrations of fencing, singing and dancing. There were also actors in costume, asking folks to come in for the concert.
2. The program featured just two composers, but what composers - Bach and Handel. There was a delightful mix of works, choral and instrumental.
3. Soprano Angela Malek has a pure, clear voice well suited for this repertoire, and was ably backed by La Follia. Diction was clear and the costume she wore was delightful.
4. Bach's Trio Sonata #1 and Handel's b minor trio sonata are two of the great chamber music hits of all time. La Follia was muddy in the first movement of the Bach, but that was the only falter the entire evening. Otherwise, technique, pitch and phrasing were exquisite.
5. Explanations of the period instruments from the performers, with questions from the audience, filled what would have been intermission. It was a charming program indeed, and reached an audience that might not have normally caught early music - kudos!
These musicians are going to teach early music technique in San Antonio, keep an eye out for more performances and lessons...on tap is an authentic Brahms' German Requiem.
Musical Bridges Around the World will continue the free San Fernando concerts on the first Sunday of each month- be sure to check it out and to come early for the demonstrations beforehand.