The challenge of Covid-19 was overcome with great music-making by Camerata Ireland and their director and soloist Barry Douglas in the first of their streamed concert series - Clandeboye At Home: Beethoven 250.
The Clandeboye Festival at the Co Down estate each August is the highlight of the classical music summer, but due to the pandemic there was no opportunity for the normal series with live audiences.
Instead Barry and Camerata Ireland brought the music to the people on Tuesday through streaming and thereby kept the festival itself alive.
It was an apt choice to choose Beethoven's five piano concertos to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth, and as an opener Barry Douglas and Camerata Ireland featured his Piano Concerto No 1, from 1795.
All the concerts were recorded while observing social distancing at the Clandeboye Estate, and to judge by the opening performance the online streaming worked well. The Clandeboye setting gave the concert an elegant backdrop, and the camera close-ups created a warm intimacy without being intrusive.
At the end Barry Douglas gave an interview in which he underlined the vital role of music in society. He said that the lockdown had given musicians time to reflect on what music and the arts are all about, and also to find new ways of connecting with their audiences.
The concerts continue each night until Saturday, costing £10 pounds each. The series will be available to be streamed on demand until August 2021 at www.camerata-ireland.com.