Bach favourites and rarities well done by Baroque festival.

There was a full house for the opening concert of the Adelaide Bach Festival, at Elder Hall, and the excited expectation of the crowd was palpable. The buzz of the audience briefly quieted into disappointment when it was announced that the highly respected violin soloist, Elizabeth Layton, was ill and unable to perform. However, to everyone’s relief, Lachlan Bramble, the director of the Elder Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra, stepped in to take her place.

The concert kicked off with Jakub Kowalewski’s string arrangement of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565. Originally an organ work, any initial concern that the freedom of the toccata might be lost in ensemble was quickly allayed, as Kowalewski’s version cleverly manages to maintain the necessary flexibility by using violin solos. The capable young orchestra appeared professional, and a surprisingly rich bass section drove the whole piece along. It was interesting to see the subject of the fugue move between the string sections, an orchestral choreography that visually illustrated what we were hearing.

The second piece in the program was Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, BWV 1060R. Celia Craig’s performance was...