Do have a look at the new web site which is now fully operational, after much work by Linda Hill and David Fletcher. The address, in case you have forgotten, is www.tvemf.org.
There is a virus around so make sure your antivirus system on your computer is kept up to date. If you send me or any of the committee a message, be sure to mention TVEMF or Tamesis in the subject or it is likely to be deleted unread.
A couple of weeks ago I went to a concert at Amersham Concert Club which I had listed in last month's Tamesis. I was rather disappointed to see only one other TVEMF member there. We really ought to support these local events as concert clubs usually stick to a safe programme of string quartets and piano soloists. I think the organisers were as annoyed as I was that the programme had been, as the performers said "slightly" altered - it was advertised as being German and French music, but in fact there was no French music at all. Two of the three performers were also different, but this did give us a chance to hear Joseph Crouch (baroque cello) whose playing was both expressive and exciting in his solos, while he gave good continuo support to the flautist Graham O'Sullivan whose performance, with the exception of his final Bach sonata in E minor, was notable mostly for its speed of delivery.
All my spare time at the moment is taken up with studying a new Open University course called The Technology of Music. I wonder if any other members are doing it. The technology side definitely dominates over the music, so I am finding it quite hard work. We have been given a programme called Adobe Audition which I installed the other day. I haven't had much time to play with it yet but when, with some trepidation, I played back the first sample wave form, I was amazed to discover that it was a beautiful Kyrie by Lassus. I am about to learn how to edit the applause from the recording. Could be very useful.
At least two Forum events have now gone unreviewed - the madrigal day which I did not attend and the excellent Bach family day with Peter Leech. Please could someone review these. It doesn't matter if I get several reviews of the same thing. Also, looking at the amazing choice of summer schools this year, I am sure it would be really helpful to have some reviews of last year's. Please get writing
I was rather apprehensive about the Bach day as we had over 80 people signed up and I wasn't sure how it would work out. Happily it proved to be a really excellent event - Peter Leech is informative and entertaining and the music was lovely. It was a shame I forgot to take the beautifully laminated arrows saying "TVEMF" that I had prepared, so apologies to those who wandered round the school premises looking for the hall. Thanks to Kathy Edmonds, who nobly stood outside in the cold and directed the participants into the correct entrance, I don't think we lost many!
Next month we have the Baroque playing day at Headington School, run as a joint event with Peter Collier whose Oxford Baroque Week takes place at the same venue in the summer. We can expect a very good turnout so I hope to see many of you there.
News of Members' Activities
On Thursday 18 March, at 1.10pm, Andrew Benson-Wilson will play the famous 1792 England organ in St James Church, Clerkenwell, in a celebration of the anniversaries of Georg Muffat (1653-1704) and Vincent Lübeck (1654-1740), two composers who represent the contrasting North and South German styles. The programme will include Lübeck's massive choral fantasia on 'Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ', one of the most extraordinary surviving examples of this typical North German musical genre. Those of you who heard Andrew play the organ for the recent Bach Family workshop will be interested to hear some German organ music from a similar period. St James Church is in Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R-0EA. Nearest tube is Farringdon.
Several members of TVEMF, including Michael Strange, Irene Butcher, Clive Letchford, Michael Jenner, Daphne Briggs, Andrew Welsh, Janet Smith and Quentin Miller are playing in a concert of motets and Concerti Grossi by Handel in St John's Wood NW8 on Sunday 21 March (see listings). They are part of Belsize Baroque, a period instrument orchestra founded in 2002. Belsize Baroque has already taken part in two choral concerts, one of them Messiah, but this will be the first concert they have promoted themselves. They have also held a number of workshops with Peter Holman, who will be directing this concert. They will be joined by soprano Claire Tomlin.
TVEMF members Roger Sym, Linda Barlow, Anne Scruby and Jane Minns are all members of the Berkshire Recorder Consort who will be celebrating the Consort's 25th Anniversary on April 17th with a recital in the wonderful setting of Sherborne Abbey, Dorset.
The BRC was founded originally as The South Hill Park Recorder Consort at South Hill Park arts centre, Bracknell, in January 1979. During the 80's the Consort had many homes in this building - in the outdoor huts in the car park, and even several years stashed in an attic next to the Rock Band sound studio. They now hold rehearsals at Easthampstead Baptist Church.
The BRC repertoire covers 11th Century to present day, encompassing a variety of Musical genres and an ever growing collection of instruments. Performances are a mixture of instrumental, voice and percussion. All members play the full range of recorders and sing as a chorus; each person has at least one or more additional instruments (either other woodwind, strings, brass or percussion). Collectively the Consort has a full consort of crumhorns & ocarinas, alto & tenor rebecs, dulcimer, bass curtal, soprano cornamuse, plucked psaltery, hurdy-gurdy, gemshorns, cornetts, shawms, harps, bass rackett, sackbutt, Leicestershire bagpipes, an assortment of glocks, handbells, and a variety of tin whistles and percussion. The BRC also have a virginal that was kindly donated to the group by the Carlin family.
The 25th Anniversary Sherborne Abbey programme features pieces by Charpentier, Brade, Byrd, Van Eyck, Britten, Richardson, Copland, Challinger, Parson, Gabrieli, Praetorius, Walton, Dufay, Henry VIII, Sullivan, Tchaikowsky, Flanders & Swann, McHugh & Fields and not forgetting Mr Anon. The final piece will be a riveting performance of Musical Director Jane Minns' "Not the 1812", featuring bells, cannons and bags of audience participation.
For more information see the BRC revamped web site.
I've been sent details of two courses by Pro Cantione Antiqua in Filey in July and Provence in October (see listings). Has anyone been to one of their courses? Reviews of other courses and musical holidays would also be most welcome.
Maria Harjani has sent me information about the Hampstead Music Club. They meet at Burgh House in Hampstead and have a variety of musical events including recorder playing, instrumental evenings and a motet and madrigal group. There is a recorder master class on English music in May.