On Saturday 20th October in the afternoon at Noojee Lea, just after the heavens had opened with a typical short but heavy downpour, a capacity audience of 60 gathered in the drawing room to enjoy an outstanding concert by the Sydney Consort, (harpsichord, baroque violin and recorder). Bach over two generations, Papa Bach better known as Johan Sebastian, and four of his sons all popular musicians in their day and just as relevant now. Bright and delightful music followed by a delicious CWA afternoon tea and a stroll in the extensive and quite exotic garden.
Saturday evening brought a thirty piece orchestra to the floor of All Saints Church and continued the Bach theme with the well-known Brandenburg Concerto, and two other Bach concerti, one featuring solo oboe and the other solo viola, both beautifully played by Orange musical luminaries, Laith Ismail (oboe) and Amy Stevens (viola).
A glass of local wine at interval and then Baroquefest’s Artistic Director Andrew Baker lead the Colour City Chamber Orchestra into bright and entertaining 20th and 21st century music, all with roots in the baroque period.
Again this year, a capacity crowd at Wallington’s Winery on Sunday where the entertainment was provided by Canberra group Ad Hoc Baroque (harpsichord, cello, soprano and alto) and the Game of Love. Mark Antony and Cleopatra appeared in song and the gods smiled down on a beautiful spring day. Ninety guests enjoyed lunch under the pergola surrounded by white Iceberg rose bushes and beyond, soft green paddocks, the vineyard in new leaf and the deep blue of the distant Weddin Mountains.
These are just three of the seven events that made up Baroquefest this year. Only two concerts were able to offer tickets at the door, the others were fully booked well before the weekend via the website www.baroquefest.org.au. The audience at each concert was made up of some local people and others who had come to Canowindra for the weekend, some staying with friends, others staying in our local B&Bs or hotels and motels, visiting our museums, our
shops, and our restaurants. Baroquefest is becoming well known and is synonymous with Canowindra. Visitors from Canberra, Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands all enjoy coming to our small friendly town, with its bendy main street, its art deco shops and its aura of days gone by. They love meeting the people, sipping coffee at one or other of our excellent coffee shops and or a glass of wine at one of our cellar doors. In addition to those delights they enjoy the wonderful music provided by the visiting musicians of Baroquefest.
This is the fourth year of Baroquefest which is set to continue into 2019 and beyond.
By Judy McLaren