Among the rewards of attending a concert by Trio Sonnerie, which appeared in the Leo S. Bing Theater on Wednesday for a program of works by J.S. Bach, is a feeling of absolute security in the players' abilities, hardly a uniform reaction when in the presence of period-performance specialists.
With Trio Sonnerie--violinist Monica Huggett, viola da gamba player Sarah Cunningham, harpsichordist Gary Cooper--no excuses need be made for the exigencies of performing on old instruments: Treat us as accomplished professionals, irrespective of style or implement, they seem to be saying. And everything they did on this occasion justified such confidence.
Likely to linger in the memory is the presentation of the Sonata in F minor, BWV 1005, with its profoundly moving Adagio, pitting double stops on the violin against the harpsichord's obsessive arpeggios. Huggett, the doyenne of Baroque violinists, brought expressively varied tone and dynamics to what in lesser hands can seem rather dry material, while young Cooper showed himself to be a keyboard artist of endless inventiveness and sovereign technical skill.
Gambist Cunningham, with whom silken tone and clarity of articulation can be taken for granted, was shown to particular advantage in an imaginative arrangement (hers?) of the familiar Organ Sonata in D minor, BWV 527. And guest artist Wilbert Hazelzet, masterful on his dulcet wooden transverse flute, showed in several selections that there are no primitive instruments, only primitive instrumentalists.
The evening was crowned with Hazelzet joining the Sonnerie members in the grandiose Trio Sonata from "The Musical Offering," delivered with nobility of line and dancing rhythmic life.