Chamber music at Koncertkirken

Leclair and Bach matched each other well in a program with Copenhagen Soloists.

Peter Dürrfeld (Kristeligt Dagblad, 8. januar 2020)

4 stars

Monday evening at Koncertkirken, located at Blågårds Plads in the heart of Nørrebro in Copenhagen, one could hear a chamber concert with merely four musicians from the ensemble Copenhagen Soloists. The program consisted of two rather different composers, the Frenchman Jean-Marie Leclair and Johann Sebastian Bach. Leclair (1697-1764) was 12 years younger than Bach and Händel and has come to stand in their shadow, but is somewhat underestimated, at least according to the ensemble's leader, violinist Jonathan Ofir, who presented a series of short introductions, before he sat down to play with the other musicians - violinist Tinne Albrechtsen, gambist Adam Grauman and harpsichordist Gilbert Martinez - who passionately took on three works of Leclair.

We first got his ouverture opus 13 nr. 5, in four short movements, whereafter the ensemble's two violinists played a duet, which demonstrated Leclair as a cheerful gentleman, who was able to deliver lively folk-like music in-between his more solemn compositions. The whole ensemble ended with a trio-sonata of four movements, and although none of the three works was downright soul-shocking, one did nonetheless get an impression of a composer which is worth listening to.

After a short break, one was offered two works of old Bach. First a sonata for viola da gamba and harpsichord, which Grauman and Martinez interpreted with stylistic confidence and beautiful sonority, after which all four musicians united for one of Bach's organ-trio-sonatas, arranged as an ordinary trio-sonata. And without belittling Leclair - something which others have perhaps done more thoroughly than this writer - it must be said, that with Leclair we got a pleasant scent of French-Italian baroque, but Bach gave us a glimpse into eternity.

The concert took place as part of the project Early Monday, which offers on every first Monday of the month throughout 2020 (except July and August) a series of varied concerts. Monday the 3rd of February one can thus hear a program with folk and medieval music, interpreted by Clara Guldberg Ravn on recorder, and Johannes Geworkian Hellman on Hurdy-Gurdy. Koncertkirken offers numerous other events and apparently has a loyal regular public, and there is a bar in the back part of the hall, serving before, at and after the concerts - shortly told: musical experiences in a different and charming frame.