To the six annual concerts in the Orchestra of St Cecilia's cantata series is always added a seventh Bach event, an instrumental recital. This season's guest soloist, Elizabeth Cooney, is a rising star of Irish violinists.
Others had been written before, others since, yet Bach's works for unaccompanied violin remain the first and the last word in the genre. In diverse ways, they require the player to coax two or more simultaneous melodies from an instrument designed to produce but one.
Sometimes, there's too much going on to allow every note to be sustained for its full duration, and the listener is presented with a kind of auditory join-the-dots exercise. But thanks to forthright tempos and an outgoing mood, these performances were connective.
Cooney positively marched through the uncompromising fugue from Sonata No 3, neatly marshalling the persistent stretto entries, and capturing a sense of several-voices-in-one in the passage-work.
The pervasive harmonic element, however, was sometimes clouded by unsettled tuning, and by a tendency to deny the more abstruse chromatic excursions the extra time they need to fully register on the ear.
In the Loure and Menuets of Partita No 3, Cooney avoided the kind of excessive nuancing that can develop into mannerism. But, despite some squally moments, the most memorable listening came with the concluding allegros of both sonata and partita, and in the partita's opening allegro. (The latter, repeated as a bonus encore at the end of this short programme, looked forward to next Sunday's concert, when it will be heard in its re-worked version as the introductory sinfonia to Cantata No 29.) To these brisk movements, Cooney brought invigorating energy and involving dash.