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York
Baroque Day, National Centre For Early Music, Jennifer Cohen, Flute & Peter Seymour, Harpsichord.
Elaine Annable, Music Correspondent
Jennifer Cohen
This delightful programme of Baroque flute music by J.S Bach, C.P.E Bach, and G.P. Telemann, was a joy from start to finish.

Jennifer Cohen is a talented flautist with a relaxed, easy manner and a real ability to communicate her enjoyment of the music.

Baroque music allows a lot of freedom in terms of articulations, dynamics and ornamentation, leaving it up to the performer to make an informed decision.

Jennifer Cohen is more than qualified to deliver a historically accurate interpretation of this programme: after graduating from the University of York in 2013 with a first-class honours degree with distinction, she took an MA in Performance Practice; followed by a PhD which included historically-informed performance practice of Baroque flute repertoire.

Clearly in her comfort zone, she gave an elegant, assured performance characterised by: a sweet, rich tone; long, expressive cantabile lines; effortless leaps from lower to upper register; and great breath control, with no distracting breath sounds, or overuse of vibrato.

Also by Elaine Annable...
Baroque Day, National Centre For Early Music, York
The Rise And Rise Of Classical Music
Eric Lu Shines In Chopin's First Piano Concerto With The Halle
The Cardinall's Musik, Howard Assembly Rooms
Music Appreciation, The Messiah And Blue Hair
Opening with C.P.E Bach's Sonata in D major for Keyboard and Flute, it immediately became clear that the acoustics of the National Centre for Early Music were going to enhance this performance - the reverberations of the venue deepening the tone and timbre of the flute, whilst giving it an almost ethereal sound in its higher register.

There was a clear understanding between musicians and a fine balance between flute and harpsichord - Peter Seymour's accompaniment was sensitive and understated.

The mood of Telemann's Fantasia in E Minor for Flute was captured immediately: you could almost hear a pin drop in the introductory largo which saw effortless leaps from upper to lower register, sweeping melodic lines and lovely dynamic contrasts and syncopation.

C.P.E Bach's Keyboard Fantasia II in C Major gave Peter Seymour the opportunity to take centre stage with a really enjoyable contrasting piece.

This was followed by a fine performance of Bach's Flute Sonata in E minor, featuring precise articulation in the tricky allegro movements, contrasting with beautifully shaped legato lines, and perfectly controlled crescendos on a single note in the slower movements.

Johann Joachim Quantz, a German flautist, flute maker and baroque music composer, who wrote a treatise on flute performance, was an advocate of tastefulness and simplicity in ornamentation.

C.P.E Bach's Sonata in G major highlighted everything that Jennifer Cohen does well: long, fluid lines; notes suspended in mid-air; and embellishments which were perfectly done, and at no point felt excessive.

A stylish, virtuosic end to a thoroughly enjoyable concert.

Baroque Day, National Centre For Early Music, Jennifer Cohen, Flute & Peter Seymour, Harpsichord., 13th May 2019, 16:54 PM