Excerpts from The Musical Offering by JS Bach were central to tonight's programme.
Before the group's absorbing account of the Trio Sonata, Terence Charlston grappled with the Ricercar a 3 at the harpsichord, in an enthralling reading that allowed all of its deliberately gnarly harmonic twists and turns to hit the spot.
With some relatively obscure composers on the programme, I was hoping for some interesting curios, but the rest of the concert was much of a much-ness.
Le Sonnerie de Sainte Geneviève du Mont à Paris by Marais was a showcase for Reiko Ichise's admirably nimble viola da gamba playing. Billed as a passacaglia, it actually unfolded above a quick three-note riff that was too short to provide any poise or tension, leaving me hankering for Stan Kenton and The Peanut Vendor.
Elsewhere, works by CPE Bach, Telemann and Leclair were full of finesse, but only the subtlest of contrasts.
After all this, I wasn't hungry for a fourteen - (count 'em) movement work, Rebel's Les Caractères de la Danse, which turned out to be a continuous thing with only fleeting allusions to the many dance forms of the era, all of them utterly unfulfilled, like an early eighteenth-century Instant Concert-style medley.
Florilegium's sound was pure and refined, and perhaps lacking the occasional bit of decadence. Their period instruments were always salon-friendly, including a bedchamber-appropriate harpsichord, which in fairness was a reasonable match for much of the repertoire.
They blended so well that they almost cancelled each other out - one reason Charlston's solo was such a highlight was that it saw an individual player let off the leash.
It seems a harsh judgement on such dedicated, polished playing, but I left with the feeling that they didn't have much of an expressive range – notwithstanding that which was elicited by the profundity of the Bach.