Thames Valley Early Music Forum
Tamesis Issue 266
I enjoyed David Fletcher’s renaissance consort day on February 24th at Burnham. I didn’t remember to ask anybody to review it so I was delighted to find Clare Goodall’s account on her Facebook page and persuaded her to let me reproduce it here. The medieval session which David arranges for us every year is almost the only opportunity I have to play my gothic harp. This year though there is a harp study day at Medieval Music in the Dales in September, so I may take the opportunity to go to that. I very much enjoyed my weekend there last year, in spite of the weather, which actually wasn’t as bad as it had been the year before. I know they have good weather in Yorkshire so let’s hope it appears at the beginning of September this year. Clare will be there running a workshop on storytelling.
The next event at Burnham will be Peter Collier’s baroque chamber music day on 29th April and I’m hoping to see lots of you there. Before that we have Julian Perkins on Sunday 15th April at Benslow. I’m pleased to say that we have enough bookings already to be able to have the Benslow lunch. Forms for both these events were in the January Tamesis and if you’ve lost yours you will find them on the TVEMF web site.
The first of the two forms enclosed this month is for Philip Thorby’s workshop on the Victoria mass and motet Laetatus Sum. We asked a number of people if they would be happy to come to a workshop which conflicts with the royal wedding and the cup final, and the general consensus was that it was a good idea. Epping is near the M25 junction with the M11 and at the end of the Central Line so you should be able to get there one way or another without going anywhere Windsor or Wembley. I’m accepting bookings by email but please make sure you use the subject stated on the form. I’ve found a number of things with Tamesis and TVEMF in the subject in my spam box recently. On 10th June we welcome Patrick Allies to Little Chalfont for a workshop on Hieronymus Praetorius’s Easter Mass. The form for Peter Syrus’s intriguingly titled workshop – Seven – will be in the May Tamesis. It will be seven composers, all represented by 7-part music. Each item has a fascinating story to tell, generally relating to some aspect of number symbolism. The composers will include Lassus, Tallis, Sheppard and Wert and the workshop will be for voices and instruments.
There are three reviews in quite different styles this month. Many thanks to their authors. It’s always a bit of a struggle to make sure that events get reported. We are very lucky to have Sidney Ross’s erudite reviews but there’s no need to feel that you need to emulate his style. So do please offer to write something so that I can enjoy a workshop without having to go round begging people to review it.
And another request! I get asked to put a lot of concerts in the listings, as you’ll see, and it’s a takes a long time because the details are often hidden in a web site or concert poster. Please try to send it in the order it will go into the listings. I don’t mind what font you send your information in as I can change it easily, but please could you use “enter” when you want to leave a space between lines and avoid using the “spacing before and after” feature. And please send me the information in an email rather than ask me to extract it from a web site. That will save me a lot of time. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the new “Miscellaneous News” feature. Items for inclusion are welcome.
Given the age profile of our members it is unfortunately to be expected that some of them will die each year and last month I attended the funeral of Penny Aspden who had been a regular at my Renaissance Days, where her bass recorder-playing was a great asset. She was a private person but I wished I had got to know her better as it transpired she had a physics degree and a PhD and had worked abroad for the British Council amongst other employments before retiring and becoming active in the musical world. She was a member of at least two recorder groups and some TVEMF members played a beautiful quartet by Gibbons at the funeral.
I had a rather stressful couple of weeks because of running the Renaissance Day and preparing music for the Samuel Scheidt workshop the following weekend. This took a ridiculous amount of effort as I tried various ways to do it but I was relieved on Sunday that the instrumental parts that I had constructed were viable and that the music was worthwhile. Bill Carslake was on good form and though the overall turnout was somewhat disappointing we had a good band and I thoroughly enjoyed the day.
We now look forward to the Baroque day with Peter Collier and the joint EEMF/TVEMF Charpentier workshop with Julian Perkins. For the latter I can report that we have managed to find the requisite two players of the natural trumpet and indeed pretty much filled the requirements for the band though more singers would be welcome.