* Notes *
Countertenor David Daniels is currently on tour with the English Concert, to promote his latest recording with that ensemble. The first half of evening was devoted to Bach, starting off with Harry Bicket leading the English Concert in the Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major. They played primly, but not dispassionately. Daniels sang a potpourri of arias from Cantatas 170 and 82, Mass in B minor, and Saint Matthew Passion. In the middle of this was a break in which the ensemble played the Sinfonia from Cantata 42, the lack of unison in the woodwinds for their first entrance was distracting. Daniels has a pretty voice, with good volume, though at times his voice does have a cooing quality that is a bit columbid.
The second half of the performance featured Händel, and the English Concert played his Concerto Grosso No. 11 very beautifully. Daniels sang arias from Radamisto, Partenope, and Orlando. He seemed more engaged with these opera numbers than with the Bach. His encore, "Qual nave smarrita," from Radamisto, was lovely. One imagines he must be very good in this role.
* Tattling *
There was a fair amount of whispering and talking during the music, but no electronic noise.