ALAMIRE is a group of young musicians from Italy who specialise in the performance of early music on original instruments. It was a great pleasure to hear Italian music from the 16th and early 17th centuries played on baroque instruments - two violins, viola, cello, theorbo and harpsichord. The acoustic of the Lane Gallery magnified the sound so that it filled the space like the sound of an organ and the welcome avoidance of vibrato made the decorations of the music clearer and more effective than usual. The players had obviously recreated the baroque style and they performed with Mediterranean warmth.
Maschera's Canzone X was richly contrapuntal and Rognoni's Sonata II a due canti was a delightful duet for two violins and continuo. Farina's Cappricio Stravagante was a suite of dances diversified with some intriguing sound effects - one heard the pecking of hens, the barking of dogs, the plucking of guitars etc. Sunday at Noon became a little trip to Tuscany.