The Venice Baroque Orchestra's presentation of Andromeda liberata, by Vivaldi and others, was the first early-music event I'd heard at Zankel Hall, and, as others have hinted, Baroque bands take to the space like cats to leftover Thanksgiving turkey. You don't have that feeling of listening through the wrong end of the telescope: the music is full, present, vibrant. For many reasons, this was a very good night. Only the time-stopping aria "Sovvente il sole" sounds like top-drawer Vivaldi, but it's a beautifully crafted score that actually builds romantic suspense as Andromeda and Perseus work through their relationship issues. Andrea Marcon's orchestra was, as expected, a potent mix of precision and swing. Simone Kermes, who sang Andromeda, is an unusual and powerful talent — a lyric soprano with an edgy, forceful way of shaping a phrase and an obvious urge to make the scenery nervous, if not to chew it outright. Ruth Rosique stepped in at the last moment as Cassiope and showed a gleaming, pure voice. Marijana Mijanovic, Enrico Onofri, and Max Cencic were also strong. It was great to hear the audience getting involved in the show as it went on. Early on, some righteous ignoramus actually shushed his neighbors after an aria, but by the end people were cheering after every number. Overall, the evening passed what my friend Jason Royal calls the Zankel Subway Rumble test: I only noticed the N / R train once. There's an excellent DG recording to match.