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Archive - Monday, 17 January 2011
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Kantanti Ensemble, St John Sub Castro Church, Lewes, Jan 15
THE VERY best musicians make old music sound new.
The Kantanti Ensemble, possibly the most vibrant new development on the classical scene, were joined by clarinettist Lorenzo Iosco making a brilliant UK solo debut away from his day job as an LSO principal.
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto is instantly familiar even to those who don’t think they know classical music. But judging by the tumultuous applause, there must have been very few people in the near-capacity audience who had ever heard the piece played with such lyricism, playfulness or bravura.
It was nothing short of thrilling to see – and hear – the exuberant Iosco quite literally dance his way through this most uplifting of pieces together with conductor Lee Reynolds, whose lightness of touch is coupled with impressive technical command.
Antonio Lotti’s Requiem is, by contrast, unknown – having spent much of the last 300 years in a Dresden vault – but from the opening bars, the Kantanti made a compelling case for this forgotten work.
Joined by a group of highly accomplished young soloists, the ensemble gave a performance with moments of rare, understated beauty. This came across particularly in the Qui Mariam duet between soprano Elizabeth Drury and principal violinist Beatrice Philips and during the exquisitely plaintive Lacrimosa, sung by Drury and counter-tenor Robert Cross.
Classical music on your doorstep doesn’t get much better than this – you might have to book tickets in secret to keep them from outgrowing this venue.