It is a dark and damp March evening but the leaded windows of St Endellion church are sending a welcoming glow out into the night. In the depths of the Cornish countryside, where the nosiest neighbours are the tawny owls, a small group of music lovers are in for a wonderful and unexpected treat.
Based in the village, the charitable organisation Endelienta really is a bit of a hidden treasure, which deserves much more recognition. Formed to promote music, literature, arts and reflection the charity builds on the reputation of the St Endellion Music Festival.
The ethos is simple, to reach out to local audiences – young and old – with a year round programme of classical, folk and jazz concerts as well as workshops and exhibitions.
Some Musical Notes . . .
Tonight Endelienta Baroque, an ensemble of former students, has returned to the place in which they were formed, St Endellion. (“It feels as if they belong to us” one member of the audience commented.) They are soprano Helena Moore, on oboe Katie Lewis, violinist Laura Alexander, on ‘cello Rachel Kay and the harpsichord played by Seb Gillot. The group are, in their own words, embarking on an exploration of the music of the German composer Handel. And I am embarking on my first ever full length classical music concert.
As we settle into the cosy pews Seb, the harpsichordist, introduces the evening’s programme.
“All the music you’ll hear tonight was composed within a short 15 year period and showcases how creative, inventive and imaginative music composed by one man can be.”
I have bought my friend Evie with me, who as a classically trained pianist is able to give me some musical notes as the performance unfolds. The opening piece is Sonata in B Minor, Op.2 No 1, a lovely opening and, with the flourishing trills of the oboe complimented by the soft strings, it sets the tone of the evening. The acoustics of the church really are wonderful and seem to lift the music somehow.
As I listened to the array of arias and sonatas unfold I suddenly realise how relaxed I have become. There is a calm joyfulness to it all but also, as Evie comments later, the excited anticipation of spring seems to be the fitting theme that running through the performance.
The soprano, Helena, takes us higher still. Heartfelt, expressive, uplifting. Then the Violin Sonata in D began with a beautifully tentative affettuoso, performed with a touch of rubato which, Evie tells me, is uncommon in baroque. . . And then the allegro brings a new energy that filled the church.
Our favourite moment of the evening came just after the interval. The Oboe Sonata in F. The clarity of the oboe was a testament to the Katie Lewis’ talent. She navigated five movements flawlessly and with ease. The cello also had a chance to shine in this piece. In Susser Blumen Ambraflocken for me the melancholy tones of the harpsichord were the star of this thoughtful piece. By the time we reached the final allegro of the evening I was completely immersed in the music. As a finale it was the perfect piece, leaving the audience I felt with a feeling of joy and excitement.
The Forthcoming Summer Programme
All that is left is for me to express my heartfelt thanks to Endelienta Baroque for a wonderful performance, to Endelienta for giving me the opportunity to write this review and to Evie for her invaluable interpretation of the performance.
Below you will find some of this summer’s much anticipated forthcoming performances. I would highly recommend supporting this charitable organisation and the talent it is fostering. Watching a live performance is a precious gift! One that we should all treasure.
The St Endellion Easter Festival is taking place between 13th April and 21st April this year. You can find more information on performances HERE.
Endelienta Summer Programme Highlights
May to August 2019
Monday 13th of May 7:30 p.m.
Poetry with John Greening and Penelope Shuttle
Two of the country’s leading poets performed together a varied and dramatic sequence of selected poems.
Friday 10th of May 7:30 p.m.
Albarosa Choir: Winter Nights
This chamber choir presents an evening of coral gems from Scandinavia.
Friday 24th of May 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Bowes: Bach Pilgrimage
One of the UK’s most versatile and accomplished violinist performs a magical concert of unaccompanied violin music.
Sunday 26th of May 7 p.m.
Treglown Award: Reach for the Stars
A very special concert featuring young singers and showcasing new talent.
Wednesday 12th of June 7:30 p.m.
Jim Carey and the Saboteurs: Riots and Lobsters
With songs written by Nick Darke and Jim Carey which were originally performed by knee-high Theatre this should prove to be an exhilarating evening.
Friday 21st of June 7:30 p.m.
This traditional ensemble are on their annual tour of Cornwall, featuring fabulous choral masterpieces.
Wednesday 10th of July 10:30 p.m.
Dante Quartet and Friends: Bach Brahms and Beyond
This internationally acclaimed quartet is always hugely popular as a part of the annual Dante Summer Festival.
Wednesday 10th of July 9:45 p.m.
Late Shostakovich by Candlelight
Watch the Dante’s perform this extraordinary quartet by candlelight and unforgettable experience.
30th July – 9th August
St Endellion Summer Music Festival
Too many performers to list here but not to be missed!
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For full details, to book tickets and for more information on other performances, workshops and activities, pop over to the website.