photography by Emma Woolcock

Cathedral Bach
October 19 2019, St Peter's Cathedral

Bach concert explodes with the sound of OzAsia fireworks.

The Adelaide Chamber Singers soldiered on through Elder Park fireworks, their lovely sound and beautifully shaped phrases reverberating around St Peter’s Cathedral.


This excellent concert of Bach had fireworks – literally. In the midst of Bach’s very moving motet, Jesu, meine Freude, sung exquisitely by the Adelaide Chamber Singers, explosive eruptions began in nearby Elder Park to mark the end of OzAsia Festival’s Moon Lantern Parade. It might have been merely distracting, or faintly humorous, but the coincidence of the words about peace in the midst of angry enemies suggested a scenario more like Dresden on February 13, 1945.The Chamber Singers soldiered on, their lovely sound and beautifully shaped phrases reverberating around the cathedral.


Two of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were given sparkling performances. No.5 has a demanding solo role for the harpsichord expertly played by Katrina Brown, although some of the detail was lost by the time the sound reached the back of the cathedral. The delightful No.4 had three admirable soloists – Simone Slattery (violin), Lynton Rivers and Jayne Varnish (recorders).


The highlight of the evening was the cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.The voice soloist was Bonnie de la Hunty, a young singer of great promise with a voice of notable purity and flexibility. Richard Fomison was superb on the baroque trumpet, a difficult instrument which he plays very skilfully.

Adelaide Baroque Orchestra is going from strength to strength, filling an important gap in Adelaide’s musical life, and long may it continue.

Stephen Wittington