Despite heavy rain last night, a capacity crowd came to the Terrace Theater to enjoy baroque music played by the Camerata Musica of East Germany. Six works were scheduled, and with the exception of the two cellists, the entire orchestra stood while playing. This made their sound seem much bigger, and conveyed the impression that this was an orchestra of soloists.
One of the high points was the D Minor Oboe Concerto by Alessandro Marcello. Dieter Wagner played the rapturous second movement with superb breath control, then showed astonishing agility in the virtuoso finale. Equally wonderful was Vivaldi's Concerto in D Major for Two Violins and Two Cellos, R.V. 564. Whether playing rapid passages together or delineating interwoven poetic lines, the soloists emphasized their teamwork. Occasionally one or the other would have a brilliant solo passage.
Telemann's Viola Concerto in G Major received a masterly reading at the hands of Karl Heinz Dommus. The fast sections were brilliantly animated, while the doleful introduction brought out the dark color of the instrument. The audience was ecstatic over Mathias Schmutzer's trumpet playing in Torelli's Sinfonia. His high notes were penetrating yet never sounded harsh. And his phrasing made fountains of light out of a difficult solo role. In response to the audience's enthusiasm, soloist and orchestra played a Handel encore.
The biggest work of the evening was Respighi's Suite No. 3 from "Ancient Airs and Dances." The beautiful viola playing at the end of the first and second sections was haunting. Then came no less than three encores: the finale of Mozart's Divertimento in D, K. 136, a movement from a Vivaldi Double Violin Concerto, and a soulful rendition of Bach's "Air on the G String," which brought sustained applause.