The cool and picked up 18th-century inside of the decommissioned church of St John’s Smith Sq. in Westminster doesn’t often call to mind the architectural and ornamental clamour of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. But it surely was exhausting to not really feel ourselves transported to Italy on the opening of this 12 months’s London Pageant of Baroque Music, a pageant with Venice as its theme.
Drumming and trumpets launched proceedings, initially heard from the steps outdoors. By the top of the live performance 16 separate vocal and instrumental strains sallied forth from 4 teams and two organs, scattered throughout the platform and the adjoining galleries, dousing us in superb Sixteenth-century polyphony.
We had time travelled to 1595, and have been attending a particular service to mark the coronation of