Andree Bach and Brian Davis

MICHAEL DRAKE Assembly House, Norwich


Intimidating weather conditions spoiled the title of yesterday's UEA Lunchtime Series, "The season was full; the room crowded" for only a few hardy souls took the opportunity to rest in another era and delve a little into the history of our city centre's Georgian heritage. Not only had all the music sung and played been heard more than 200 years ago in the building, but soprano Andree Bach comes from the Noverre stock, which bought the building in the mid-19th century.

Accompanied by harpist Brian Davis, the duo's programme gave a short insight into the Georgian Assembly Rooms. Readings by both artists were treated in an easy well-projected style and the stories told with no little character, particularly the extract from Christopher Anstey's "The New Bath Guide". From the Norfolk Chronicle came details of what must have been a splendid civic occasion in the music room on the 21 December 1805, In Memorium Nelson.

Not all the songs suited Andree Bach's voice, which is more used to oratorios, but Joseph Haydn's "My mother bids me" had particular clarity and elegance. Brian Davis' accompaniment was never less than sympathetic to the voice and he also contributed a delightful "gavotte sentimentale" by Jean-Georges Noverre.