Tamesis Issue 179 February 2006
Thank you very much to our contributors this time. The number plate challenge particularly
has produced a good response. Please start thinking about writing something for next month.
It really doesn’t matter what you write about, as long as it seems vaguely relevant to early
music. Nan Scott recently wrote to me: “I do enjoy the newsletter so much, partly because of
the lovely sense of humour most of the contributors show!”
Having studied some of the big Praetorius pieces at the Beauchamp Summer School I found it
interesting to do them again under Peter Syrus at our January workshop. Peter produced some
very helpful notes which summarised the life and times of the composer and clearly knew his
subject very well. He decided, on musical grounds, that for two of the easier pieces only half of
the participants would sing while the others listened. This decision attracted some adverse
comment and, as someone who likes to be busy, I admit to feeling a bit short-changed.
However I enjoyed the day very much as most of the time was spent on the other pieces, which
were excellent. There was a suggestion that Peter was not very audible, though I was at the
back and had no trouble in hearing. Perhaps the acoustics of the downstairs room at the Dutch
Church are directional? It is a really popular venue so it would be nice to be reassured about
this crucial point. Many thanks to Jeff Gill who organised the event so well and who first
spotted the possibilities of the church for TVEMF events.
For the Andrew Carwood workshop we are using St Mary's Church, Perivale for the first time,
which could be a useful venue to the west of London if it proves successful. At the end of the
month there are two events on successive weekends, thanks to bad planning on my part. As we
have already got back to 350 members with renewals still arriving, I still expect a good turnout
- the forms are enclosed.
The joint winners of the Christmas competition are Jenny Gowing and Elaine Mordaunt, both
of whom got 42 correct answers and a large number of convincing “wrong” ones. They win a
year’s TVEMF subscription. You obviously found this quite a hard competition, and looking
at the answers I can see why. Jenny wrote to me: “Not since my schooldays have I suffered
such an onslaught of mind-numbing, wince-making and excruciating punnery.”
Congratulations anyway to our winners, and to those who came quite near. To put the rest of
you out of your misery, here are the answers provided by the compiler.
1. A genuine communication Fayrfax
2. Fires Busnois
4. Siamese Composer? Tye
5. He made his stamp in the Strand Gibbons
6. Made to be broken? Lawes
7. Rough-edged Byrd
8. Citizen of a Surrey Town Cima
9. He stirs things up Hassler
10. Spoil the lower string Marcello
11. Purposeful skill Willaert
12. Catch the insect from a distance Farnaby
13. Wooden rod as well Dowland
14. To the point Franck
15. Army discipline from the Pope Bull
16. Bind Joseph’s side Taeggio
17. Know the German River Reincken
18. By way of the Irish Singer Viadana
19. Throw a greeting Castello
20. Finished the horses’ shed Dunstable
21. The weather was good! Adson
22. Mascagni’s opera on the footpath Cavalli
23. Central wager Corbett
24. Departed naked Brade
26. Agrees _ Tallis
27. Property of a polished composer Schein
28. We are the inquisitive Conservatives Praetorius
29. He puts the maggot on the hook Fischer or Bateson
30. Genuine prattle Gabrieli
31. Ignite the garden implement Holborne
32. American composer’s extremity Susato
33. Yale Locke
34. Coke in the field Agricola
35. Strike Blow
36. Rustic talk in the hive Biber
37. Effeminate age Campion
38. A composer who was not amused Victoria
39. He gives you the blues Mundy
40. Clergymen Parsons
41. A colourless composer Whyte
42. Expensive jewellery Deering
43. Agriculturalist Farmer
44. Underwater joint Marini
45. Make a shawl Croce
46. Incense tin Josquin
47. Compass point East
48. Bird’s small-holding Ravenscroft
49. Choosy composer Picchi
50. Pulp exhibition Machaut
51. Environmentally aware composer Greene
52. Taxi driver’s child Cabezon
53. Line of fruit catch the sun Perotin
54. Nobleman’s heir Peerson
55. Spoil the fish Marais
56. Extra pasture ……… Morley
57 …..used as a toilet Lully
58. Travel for the chocolate bar Romero
59. Grass cut by a Sun God Rameau
60. Righteous relaxation Morales
61. Arrow specialist Flecha
62. Hebridean cares for animals. Geddit? Malvezzi
63. Timid Neuter Scheidt
64. Energetic shove Pepusch
65. Nasty cough Cesti
66. This connection gyrates Sweelinck
67. Mrs Weill Lotti
68. Cool stag Schickhardt
69. The cask maker that got away Couperin
70. Oh! The turf of Ireland Soderino
71. Pear cyder Peri
72. The rotter distributed the cards to us Arcadelt
73. Sauce herb Parsley
74. Our pin-up Arbeau
75. Flower in the cemetery Roseingrave
76. Dead as a…. Dornel
This has proved to be a popular topic. Here are the suggestions I have received (I haven’t tried
to eliminate duplications):
In reply to Madeline Seviour's request for ideas, music furnishes quite a lot of opportunities for
personalized number plates. G1GUE is one, with very little cheating (such as 4 for A). Early
music composers are B1BER, F1NCK, PER1, GAL10T, M1LAN, V1SEE, V1TRY. There are
plenty of more modern composers, such as 1VES, F1ELD, ALA1N, AUR1C, W1REN,
TUB1N, C1LEA, BER10, B1ZET, DAV1S, L1SZT, F1ALA (Bohemian contemporary of
Mozart, who wrote a cor anglais concerto), I don't think that the department of transport allows
O and I as letters as well as numbers, otherwise we could have B1UMI, V10TTI, W1DOR,
A bit of cheating would allow R4VEL, 15AAC, ROS51, G188ONS. Finally, a strategically
placed rivet between numbers would give BAC11, L11LY, BER110Z etc. A pity that
Madeline has a U in her name otherwise she could have SEV10R.
p.s. A near neighbour, presumably a cat-lover, has the registration number M1AOU
Regarding Madeline Seviour’s number plate challenge a quick flip through my mind and my
Christmas present (Bradford’s Crossword Solvers Dictionary) reveals the following:
G188 ONS P1 ANO
B1 ZET S1 TAR
B1 ZEY T1 BIA
V10 LIN Z1 NKE
D1 NDY S1 NGS
F1 ELD P1 PED
L1 SZT B15 SON
A21 ONE D1 SCO
And if 1 was allowed to represent L as well as I the list would be longer.
How about these:
BA 55 OON (or B455 OON)
IND 1A (if Sigismondo counts, but he has been bagged by the Indian embassy already)
MO 24 RTS (both of them, but you'll have to wait till after Feb 2024)
HA 55 LER
I'm sure there must be more!
M4CH 4UT (Ingrid Glass)
How about G188 ONS ?? I think this fits in with DVLA regulations. Ingrid (Glass)
I’m not sure how many of the above suggestions do actually comply with the regulations, but
here is one that I know does: TVEMF member Sue Bogle has S 80GLE!
News of Members’ Activities
Alison Bowler’s group, Pellegrina, will be giving a lunchtime recital of baroque chamber
music at 12.30 pm at St John’s Church, Boxmoor near Hemel Hempstead. There is a
suggested minimum donation of £2.50 which will support the New School of Organ Studies
and the new organ fund at St. John's. Lunches & refreshments will be available after the
Roger Deats has asked me to mention a concert given by his choir, the Wooburn Singers,
with the Classical Soloists at St Mary’s Church Old Amersham on Saturday 4th March. To
celebrate Mozart’s 250th anniversary they are performing the Mozart Requiem and Haydn’s
Theresa Mass. More details are in the Concerts list.
Member Clare Norburn is Co-Artistic Director of the Brighton Early Music Festival, so
although it’s outside our area I thought you would like to hear about it. Brighton is quite easily
reached by train from London so you might like to combine one of the concerts with a day at
the seaside. On Saturday 11th March the Tallis Scholars are performing Victoria’s Requiem,
works by Palestrina & Allegri’s Miserere at St Peter’s Church, Brighton. On Saturday, 25th
March at St George’s Church, Kemp Town, there is a Celebrity Fundraising Concert to raise
money for the 2006 early music festival, which will take place later this year from 30th
September to 29th October. This will include an appearance by members of Red Priest, Eclipse,
RETRoSPECT and a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Tickets for both events can be bought
through the Dome Box Office on 01273 709709 or online at
Opportunities to make music
I have received the following message from Emma Dinoulis who is the chairman of the
Breakaway Theatre Company, a local amateur theatre group in St. Albans. I make
absolutely no comment on their idea of appropriate instruments!
‘In the summer, we are putting on an outdoor production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer
Night's Dream". (The production week runs from 31st May to 3rd June incl. 2006.)
Our director, Dev Sagoo is very interested in having old and traditional instruments played live
(if possible), and I am on the lookout for any musicians and a musical director who would be
interested in doing this. Dev was mentioning that a harp and mandolin would be interesting.
However, any Elizabethan sounding instruments would be excellent. I know that playing
instruments live can be difficult in an outdoor venue but I know, also, that these things can be
We could not pay musicians and are really asking for anyone for whom this would be a fun
and interesting experience. However, it is not often that "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is
presented in a traditional way and in such an ideal setting (a leafy amphitheatre close to St.
Albans Abbey Cathedral), and I really think we can make this a magical production!’
Emma can be contacted by email at emmabreakawaytheatre.co.uk
VACANCY - for an accompanist of professional standing commencing summer term
The Canonbury Chamber Choir has a vacancy for a piano/organ/harpsichord player to replace
their long-standing accompanist who has had to step down due to work commitments.
They are around 30 able singers with a repertoire of mainly baroque music (recent concerts
include the Bach B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, Vaughan Williams and Handel)
performing in North London churches under the baton of Anthony Milledge. Spring term 2006
concerts include Bach Cantatas, Britten and Arvo Pärt.
They rehearse on Thursday evenings during termtime in the Islington/Highbury area, from 7 to
9.30pm, and the successful candidate will also perform with them in 5-6 concerts a year. They
often sing at baroque pitch with authentic period instruments, so transposition and score-
reading skills are absolutely essential. Fee is negotiable.
To apply, please contact their musical director Anthony Milledge on
amilledgecanonbury.cc.freeuk.com, attaching CV and referee details. Applications from
music students will be accepted. Selection will be by audition during the spring term.
I have been sent information about a baroque string playing day with Stuart Deeks in North
Dulwich London SE24 on Saturday 11th March. Music will include J S Bach: Ricercare,
Handel: Concerto Grosso op. 6, Orlando Gibbons: Fantasia, Corelli: Concerto Grosso, Purcell:
Suite from King Arthur and pieces by Rameau. It sounds like a lot to get through in one day.
You can get more details and a booking form at http://at.orpheusweb.co.uk/baroque/ or by
Handel House Museum
I started to put all the events at the Handel House Museum into the listings at the end, but it
took so long that I have decided to put them separately here. Look in the lists for anything
before 14th March.
British Harpsichord Society Concert
Tuesday 14 March 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Lina Zilinskyte (harpsichord). Programme to include
works by Weckmann, Froberger, Muffat and Bach. £6
French Songs of Love
Thursday 16 March 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Cantatas and instrumental music from 17th and 18th
century France include works by Rameau and Lambert with Emma Murphy
(soprano/recorder), Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord), Graham O'Sullivan (baroque flute) and
Ibi Aziz (baroque cello). £8.50/£7 concs.
Saturday 18 March 3.00pm to 4.00pm and 4.00pm to 5.00pm. Music educator, Danny Staples,
has an enormous collection of instruments from all over the world, some of which you may
never have seen before. In this hands-on-session you are given the chance to learn more about
how different instruments produce different sounds, and how music plays a variety of roles in
other cultures. Suitable for all ages. £4 child/ adult admission applies (£5)
Thursday 23 March 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Iason Iaanou (baroque cello) will perform solo cello
works by Bach and Vivaldi Sonatas for Cello, Theorbo and Continuo with Jamie Akers
(theorbo) and Ilektra Miliadou (cello). £8.50/£7 concs.
Battle of the Divas
Sunday 26 March 3.00pm to 4.00pm. This event will tell the story of the great baroque divas,
Faustina Bordini and Francesca Cuzzoni, whose epic rivalry eventually culminated explosively
in an on-stage row. This tiff became the source of great scandal and was famously parodied in
The Beggar’s Opera. Sopranos Adey Grummet and Sarah Moule will present the parallel lives
of these 18th century opera stars and perform their own interpretation of the battle of the divas.
With Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord). £13/£11 concs.
NEW EXHIBITION Handel and the Castrati 29 March to 1 October 2006
Exhibition FREE with admission. Handel and the Castrati will reveal the stories behind these
eighteenth century super-opera-stars. The exhibition will feature pictures, prints, scores and
objects relating to the castrati.
The Couperin Series
Saturday 1 April from 2pm. Handel House is again partnering up with the British Harpsichord
Society to present a series of informal recitals of the complete Couperin Ordres. The series is
the brainchild of distinguished harpsichordist and scholar Jane Clark. Every week,
harpsichordists will play a selection of the Ordres, theatrical and mysterious works that are
rarely performed. This month, Ordres 8, 10 with Jane Chapman, Anna Tetsuya, Simon
Willoughby, and Charlotte Wilson. £6
Launch of the Castrati Series: Il Canto Figurato - The Art of the Castrati
Sunday 2 April 3.00pm to 4.00pm. Nicholas Clapton, counter-tenor and curator of Handel and
the Castrati, will discuss the training castrati undertook, with reference to books of instruction
that were available during Handel’s time. Nicholas will then perform a training piece for
singers from one of Handel’s contemporaries who taught such famous castrati as Caffarelli and
Farinelli. He will also perform several Handel arias composed to showcase the great skill of
Handel’s singers. With Laurence Cummings (harpsichord). £13/£11 concs.
Castrati Series: Carestini’s Roles Re-Visited
Thursday 6 April 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Cenk Karaferya (counter-tenor) and Bridget Cunningham
(harpsichord) will present a programme of music originally sung by Carestini, one of the
Handel’s principal castrati singers. £8.50/£7 concs.
Castrati Series: The Sensational Senesino
Sunday 9 April 3.00pm-4.00pm. To celebrate the opening of the Handel and the Castrati
Exhibition, Andrew Radley (counter-tenor) will perform works sung by Senesino, one of the
great castrati of Handel’s age, and for whom he created a plethora of magnificent roles. The
programme will include arias from Admeto, Tamerlano, Orlando and Ottone. With Jonathan
Cohen (harpsichord). £13/£11 concs.
British Harpsichord Society Concert
Tuesday 11 April 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord), Katherine Manley
(soprano). Aria excerpts from Handel’s operas and harpsichord highlights. £6
Castrati Series: Chamber Cantatas
Thursday 13 April 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Andrew Pickett (counter-tenor) and Masumi Yamamoto
(harpsichord) will perform a variety of dramatic cantatas written for castrati singers by Handel
and his contemporaries. £8.50/£7 concs.
Castrati Series: Guadagni and Oratorio
Thursday 20 April 6.30pm – 7.30pm. This recital will present a number of Handel’s oratorio
arias sung by his castrato Guadagni. With Glen Kesby (counter-tenor) and Claire Williams
(harpsichord) £8.50/£7 concs.
Getting a Closer Look Events: Spotlight on Senesino
Sunday 23 April 3.00pm to 4.00pm. £6/ FREE for visually impaired visitors and their carers
Bridget Crowley, audio describer, will explore the life of and music sung by the famous
castrati Senesino, using a portrait of the castrato from the exhibition. Live music is provided by
Ed Breen (counter-tenor) and Bridget Cunningham (harpsichord).
Hardly Handel: Early Music for Castrati
Thursday 27 April 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Magid El-Bushra (counter-tenor) and David Wright
(harpsichord) will provide us with a glimpse into early castrati repertoire from the 16th and 17th
centuries, presenting music by Monteverdi, Lully, Charpentier and Purcell. £8.50/£7 concs.
1. Handel House booking line: 020 7399 1953.
2. Handel House is open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm (with late night Thursday until 8pm); Sun
12pm-6pm. Closed on Mondays (including Bank Holidays). General admission £5.00 /
£4.50 concessions / £2 for young visitors (ages 16 and under).
3. Handel House is located at 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 4HB. Entrance in
Lancashire Court. (Nearest tube: Bond Street / Oxford Circus). Tel: 020 7495 1685.
4. Handel House has free drop-in activities for children every Saturday afternoon. Family
trails and quizzes are available every day.