mon 24/02/2020

Retrospect Trio, Julia Doyle, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Retrospect Trio, Julia Doyle, Wigmore Hall

Retrospect Trio, Julia Doyle, Wigmore Hall

A young ensemble make a mature statement with Purcell's chamber music

Julia Doyle: Musicianship of almost too faultless assurance

Their record label describes them rather laboriously as “a Baroque super-group of four superstar Baroque instrumentalists”, but the Retrospect Trio don’t need any fancy titles to prove their quality. Bringing together violinists Sophie Gent and Matthew Truscott (leader of the OAE) and Jonathan Manson on bass viol (principal cello of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra) under the direction of young harpsichordist Matthew Halls, this ensemble is all about unshowy musicianship. Joined last night by soprano Julia Doyle they offered up some of the best Purcell London is likely to see this year – with performances from Mark Padmore and the Britten Sinfonia, not to mention Scholl, Jaroussky and Ensemble Artaserse still fresh in the ears, that’s saying something.

Stripping back harmonic flesh to expose the grind and tumble of joints beneath, this is music that crunches in the ear and prickles on the tongue

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The suggestion at the conclusion of this review that The King's Consort has somehow been replaced by The Retrospect Ensemble, or is defunct, could hardly be further from the truth! The briefest of looks at TKC's website will show the scope of TKC's work during the coming season, as well as performances during the last 12 months which have included major international venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Lucerne Festival, Madrid Auditorio Nacional, Wigmore Hall etc, and tours across Europe and beyond, with major international soloists and the finest instrumentalists and singers. There are no ashes, there is no phoenix rising, just TKC and its committed musicians continuing the international quality work which has been so successful across the globe for more than 30 years. For more information, go to

The Retrospect Ensemble describes itself as "the new identity of the leading period instrument orchestra and choir previously known as The King's Consort." However, we apologise for suggesting that the King's Consort itself has disappeared - it continues as an independent concern under the direction of Robert King`

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