Academy of Ancient Music: Sara Macliver and co bring clarity and comeliness

Musica Viva Australia Blog

Reviewed by Peter McCallum

Sara SMH

Academy of Ancient Music & Sara Macliver, City Recital Hall, November 9

The original Academy of Ancient Music flourished in London from about 1726 to 1796, specialising in the music of a previous age before being tempted into the then contemporary delights of Handel and luminaries of the cosmopolitan Baroque.

In 1973 Christopher Hogwood aptly appropriated the name for an original-instrument orchestra dedicated to playing music from the time of its earlier namesake. The rest, as they, is history.

Harpsichordist Richard Egarr, the academy’s current director, brings outstanding and serene musicianship to their music making that shows that the historical lessons of Hogwood’s generation have been absorbed and sublimated and overzealous historicism has been resisted.

This program, featuring the pristine transparency of Sara Macliver’s singing, returned to the academy’s heartland, the clarity and comeliness of the English Baroque.

And what a glorious mastery over these sometimes-troublesome instruments…

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