The town came alive over the weekend with classical music as the soundtrack for the inaugural Canowindra Baroquefest. With concerts spread over three days, hundreds of locals and visitors were treated to the sounds of woodwind, string and keyboard instruments.
The Australian-based ensemble Ironwood opened the event at the All Saints
Church on Friday night, with quartets by Jadin, Hummel and Haydn played on the cello and violins. Saturday saw a slight change of plans, with the sold-out matinee to be held outdoors at the Age of Fishes Museum moved indoors thanks to the stifling heat.
Concert goers joined ancient fossils in the museum’s main gallery as they were
serenaded by Laith Ismail’s oboe and Tracey Callinan’s harpsichord. The locally-based Mitchell String Quartet ended the day at the All Saints Church with a variety of arias and cantatas, accompanied by Helen Barnett’s soprano, Matthew Gately’s trumpet and Ben Edwards’ keyboard continuo.
The final concert was held on Sunday; a matinee performance at Wallington Winery titled ‘A Baroque Mystery”. Ticket-holders experienced the Sonatas of the Rosary along with discussions of the sonatas, the revolutionary technique “scordatura”, and the making of baroque violins in the 17th Century.
“The weekend was absolutely brilliant,” said Arthur Falconer from the organising committee. “All of the feedback has been very positive and it’s looking good for next year. We just have to work out where we can fit everyone in; all the venues were packed.”