Jens F. Laurson, Cavalli, "La Didone" (June 18)
Charles T. Downey, Mozart, "Idomeneo" (June 4)
The audience was of a respectable size, many of them drawn, most likely, by the name of recorder virtuoso Matthias Maute, who joined the group for two concerti as soloist. I heard him last year as a soloist, also on an all-Vivaldi program, with the REBEL Ensemble at the Library of Congress and was mightily impressed. After this concert, he remains the most talented recorder player I have heard live in recent years. His first concerto was an adaptation of a violin concerto (B-flat major, RV 375), which offered plenty of opportunities for Maute to show off his many skills. He can riff off incredible spirals of detached runs, almost all individually set off in astounding clarity, and immediately switch to soaring long high notes, impeccably tuned and unchanging, all with extraordinary breath control. He has great flair in ornamentation as well -- for example, in the second movement of this concerto -- which is crucial in Baroque music, and not all players are created equal in this respect. He was no less impressive in his second concerto (C minor, RV 441). Because it was actually composed for the recorder, its demands seemed to fit more naturally under Maute's fingers.
Gail Wein, Washington Early Music Festival (Washington Post, June 21)
Get out your Ionarts workbooks. All fans of Baroque music and the recorder, in particular, are advised to go to St. Mark's this evening (June 20, 8 pm), when Matthias Maute will give a solo recital on recorder and traverso. The program includes Bach's Partita for Flute, Marais's variations on "La Follia," and an 18th-century transcription of Vivaldi's Spring Concerto for flute.