Forma Antiqva hits the right notes

III Melbourne Spring Early Music Festival
(Trinity College Chapel)

Espectáculo: Concerto Zapico

11 de octubre de 2007


"The group has one vital attribute that makes the difference between early music performances being a pleasure: accuracy in note production."

Clive O’Connell. The Age, Melbourne, Australia.

The period instrument ensemble Forma Antiqva, in its touring from the recent Spring Early Music Festival, comprised the three Zapico brothers – Aarón the fulcrum on harpsichord, Daniel playing the imposing theorbo, and Pablo contributing a lively baroque guitar. Their program in the resonant surrounds of the Trinity Chapel at Melbourne University took its impetus from the keyboard sonatas of Scarlatti – one of Spanish music’s most famous imports – and moved off-centre to his predecessors and some contemporaries in Santiago de Murcia and José Blasco de Nebra.

The group has one vital attribute that makes the difference between early music performances being a pleasure: accuracy in note production. With the pell – mell runs in the opening trio of fandangos, Aarón Zapico’s delivery came over as crystalline, unmuffled, even and delivered with flexibility of rhythm.

Here and later on the recital, Daniel Zapico made his theorbo sound more prominent than most other interpreters you come across, who generally content themselves with generating a background buzz. Not this player: his open bass strings resonated with impressive amplitude while the rapidity of his left hand work in rapid passages during a ricercar by Diego Ortiz made the air crackle with controlled fire.

Only the Scarlatti arrangements sounded laboured, as in the A minor Sonata K175, here played by guitar and theorbo with stately grandeur rather than the aggressive bite that an interpreter such as Rafael Puyana gives it. But the anonymous Batalla Famosa served as brilliant showcase for this appealing young trio of true musicians.

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