Thames Valley Early Music Forum
This is a shorter Tamesis than usual as it comes not long after the January issue and nobody has felt inspired to write an article or review, but it does contain more concerts and events than recently. There are some interesting new courses including all those provided by Lacock including even one in Mexico. I have put in all the local concerts I could find outside London, but have not attempted to include all the London ones as there are so many and London is well catered for in other publications. Please keep on sending me details, preferably in a form that can be easily cut and pasted in.
You will find inside a form for our regular Michael Procter weekend which has moved to a new and probably much warmer venue - St Mary le Strand. Unfortunately I shall have to miss it this year as I am playing in a concert, so Neil Edington has taken over the organisation.
The madrigal day with JanJoost van Elburg seemed to go pretty well and most people, including myself, found he provided some useful insights, though perhaps some thought it a bit slow going. An exercise in which we stamped our feet in turn in rotation whilst trying to maintain a strict tempo showed how important it is to anticipate the action of producing a sound. Even in such a predictable situation one could hear discontinuities and the rhythm speeding up and slowing down.
Linda Hill has spent a lot of time in redesigning the TVEMF web site and the fruits of her efforts are now available for viewing on http://www.tvemf.org/tvemfh.htm which will shortly be copied to our home page. The original pages were thrown together by me and the difference is startling - many thanks, Linda. There are some pictures of members who were at the TVEMF 2003 Christmas event and if any of those featured are unhappy about appearing (anonymously) on our site then now is the time to inform me. Please do let me know of any errors or omissions as soon as possible.
The Bach Day on the 28th February is well subscribed but may still have room for some lower voices. We are familiar with Johan Sebastian and his sons but it will be very interesting to sample the music of the earlier Bachs.
Chris Thorn produces some nice spellcheckerese. My favourite is older, from Tony Baines's and Klaus Wachsmann's translation of the Hornbostel-Sachs Classification (Galpin Journal 14, 1961): the end-blown grumpet, an instrument one knows so well. It snarls when you pick it up in the morning and will seldom do what you want it to do, and when you compel it to, it bubbles with fury.
Experienced alto would love to join voices with other ensemble singers interested in going on the Trio Mediaeval Ensemble Singing Week (Aug 14-21) in Cambridge. They prefer to coach pre-formed groups rather than individual voices, so if we can get quorate in time, let's form a group! Please phone Helen Dymond on 0208-965-1497 or 07931-905821
Diana Maynard is trying to help a promising young musician, aged about 30, here on a student visa to further her career and has sent the following small ad:
Lady with a Dusty Harpsichord?
An experienced harpsichordist with higher degrees from Moscow Conservatoire would welcome the chance to practise in quiet surroundings. Initial contact: 01923 822248.
Edward Wickham has sent details of an opportunity to take part in a performance of The Play of Daniel, led by him and his award-winning consort The Clerks' Group, at the Newbury Spring Festival on May 9th. A preparatory workshop on the project will take place on May 2nd, again in Newbury, with a full day of rehearsal on the day for the performance at 6 pm.
This promises to be an exciting an innovatory collaboration which will also involve local school children. The Play, which tells two stories from the Book of Daniel - that of Belshazzar's Feast and Daniel in the Lion's Den - has been translated by Edward Wickham and the production will combine elements of the medieval and the contemporary. Participants should be experienced singers and will need to show a willingness to be involved in both musical and dramatic aspects of the show. Fee for participation (to cover music and administrative costs): £5 (payable on the day)
Further details and an application form can be obtained from Marianne Franklin, Festival Secretary, Newbury Spring Festival, 1Bridge Street, Newbury RG20 9RD