Café Zimmermann IV

The Advertiser, 27 February 2014

Civilised way to imbibe sublime

It worked for Gottfried Zimmerman 300 years ago. It still works for Adelaide Baroque now. Elegant surroundings, bring your own Vittles, sit with your friends at small tables, eat, drink and be merry, sad and everything in between listening to beautiful 18th century music.

Smooth leadership by Ben Dollman was key to confident performances by a dozen strings, recorders, oboes and harpsichords. Plus soprano Louisa Perfect in the weirdly worded Wedding Cantata by J.S. Bach.

Reedy baroque oboes, one d'amore, contrasted neatly with sweet recorders and voice flute. Simone Slattery was as elegant in demeanour as in her playing as violin soloist and leader in Telemann's Violin Concerto in g major 561.

All 12 hands were on deck for the spectacular finale, Telemann's Wassermusik. Composed in 1723 for the centenary of the Hamburg Admirality, it's full of references to nautical (and naughty) gods and goddesses. The playing had such gusto and élan, the fireworks were not far away.

One slight disappointment: in the Bach Concerto for Two

Harpsichords in C minor BWV 1060 the undoubtedly splendid harpsichord playing by Lesley Lewis and Katrina Brown was barely audible.

Elizabeth Silsbury, The Advertiser