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“An evening's entertainment that seemed only too short... Supreme musical sensitivity.”
     Early Music Newsletter, for solo recital

“Enchanting recorder solos”
     Newsday, for New York City Opera’s production of Rameau’s Platee

“The recorders, officially “soft” instruments, sometimes added an unexpected touch of brilliance.”
     Berkshire Review of the Arts, for a Berkshire Choral Arts performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers

“The excellent young players of period strings were supported by an especially virtuosic bassoonist, Rachel Begley. While it seemed a little odd to hear a bassoon without an oboe in this music, her lively playing proved an added pleasure.”
     Berkshire Review of the Arts, for a BEMF Fringe production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas

“Packed with enthusiastic energy, the playing is of the highest level. The ensemble is superb: a living, breathing group (that) exudes their commitment to the repertoire… vital (with) phenomenal facility.”
     Concert Artists Guild, for New Amsterdam Recorder Trio

“Extremely talented, with great authority”
     Gene Reichenthal, Director Emeritus, Long Island Recorder Festival

“A solid sense of ensemble was evident in the interplay between soloists, among soloists and the continuo members, and in their resonant intonation. Their approach was unified and flawless.”
     American Recorder, for Fire and Folly at the ARS Great Recorder Relay

“The 'newbie' New York based ensemble, Fire & Folly, has serious chops... Rachel Begley, recorders and baroque bassoon; Abigail Karr, violin; Ezra Seltzer, ‘cello and Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord shook the foundations of the Beacon Hill Friend’s House in one of the fringe performances at BEMF this June. Baroque trio sonatas generally were written for two of the same instruments plus continuo. However, in this concert, Fire & Folly enthusiastically performed “mix & match” music for winds and strings, high and low instruments, and national styles. The title of the program, “Mixed Marriages,” reflects the idiosyncratic nature of the trio sonatas and other music presented.
     I was quite taken by the performance of Ritratto dell’amore from Les Gouts-réünis by François Couperin, an example of his blending of French and Italian styles in the early 18th century. I also enjoyed another unexpected mix – the Italian composer Franceso Barsanti’s A Collection of Old Scots Tunes, also 18th century.
    More familiar Baroque composers – including Telemann and Vivaldi – had a place on the program, though not always in a familiar instrument grouping. In particular, Telemann surprises us with the B flat major trio sonata for violin, bassoon and continuo. In Begley’s hands the bassoon more than held its own against the higher register of the violin, and the music provided an interesting contrast with the Telemann A minor trio sonata for alto recorder, violin and continuo. The Vivaldi Concerto in D for recorder, violin and continuo which opened the program featured a sparkling and energetic dialog between Abigail Karr, violin and Begley on voice flute backed by continuo. On the whole, the strings, particularly the violin, played with intensity and a sense of edginess, yet Begley’ virtuosity, tone colors and articulations were clearly present, never drowned out. Fire & Folly’s members are all virtuosi in their own right and, based on this concert, a tight, high energy, balanced ensemble. No folly in this fire.”
     American Recorder, for Fire and Folly at BEMF