It looks like I’m becoming a Christophe Rousset as I haven’t missed any of his concerts since I came to London. And with a reason: because I’m enjoying them very much. This programme at the Wigmore Hall was just perfect: * it had coherence of showing the music of Venice during the early baroque * presented two different mood very well differentiated: love and joy vs. death and sorrow * mixed very well known music like the one from Monteverdi with some other now trending composers like Cavalli and some hidden treasures (Rossi Orfeo!
I was very excited about this double concert. As you might already know I love French baroque and there are not many changes of seeing this repertoire in London. The first concert worked as an introduction to Couperin music: one concert from Les Goûts-réunis, three airs, some fragments from the 2nd book of Pièces de clavecin and finally another concert from Concerts royaux. The ensemble was minimal: violin, gamba and Rousset conducting from the harpsichord.
Christophe Rousset was replacing the initially announced Ivor Bolton as conductor of this concert performance of Handel Semele. What a good deal! Rousset had already done this oratorio/opera in Paris and he has nicely evolved from a harpsichordist to I-conduct-my-own-period-instruments-ensemble to I-conduct-at-any-opera-house. So he brought all of this to this night: very good continuo sense, experience with HIP orchestras and full staged opera productions. Seen Rousset conducting with the hands, with energetic and fast movements is a delightful experience.