Sometimes authenticity in playing Baroque music gets in the way of execution. Not so with the Handel and Haydn Society concert Saturday afternoon in Hannaford Hall on the University of Southern Maine’s Portland campus.

The playing was exciting and propulsive throughout, led by violinist Aisslin Nosky, who is a ball of fire. It was sensitive to the style and nuance of Baroque performance but also full of emotion, as in the slow movement of the Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (BWV 1043), which Nosky played with Christina Day Martinson.

I had always preferred the keyboard version of this work, but the singing voices of the violins in the largo, and their marvelous interaction, changed my mind.

The program began with a short and ferocious version of Vivaldi’s Concerto in G Major (RV 151) “Alla Rustica,” which begins with a presto, rests for a second or so in the adagio and finishes with an allegro that is almost as fast as the opening movement. It was over in an instant, but the effect lingered like that of a flash of lightning.

Watch for a full review in an upcoming edition of the Portland Press Herald.

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