Cappella Artois

TONY COOPER Burnham Westgate Church


> Burnham Westgate Church

Formed in 2001 by six Cambridge undergraduates, this group - led by tenor Ben Breakwell - treated a packed and appreciative audience to a superb evening of unaccompanied song in a church that boasted acoustics to match.

And their strict choral training clearly showed in a sensitive and wonderful reading of a couple of motets by Thomas Tallis and his contemporary, Jacob Handl.

Prior to these devotional pieces from the great Renaissance period, we were treated to a couple of jolly and tuneful drinking songs - one French and one English, the latter attributed to Henry VIII.

Baritone Richard Bannam proved to be a skilful and colourful arranger, particularly in the spiritual Steal Away - which was in striking contrast to that set by Sir Michael Tippett - and in four of the folksongs with a lively setting of The Drunken Sailor.

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In their early days they sang barbershop and a little bit of this razzamatazz shone through in the second half with numbers such as I Got Rhythm and the theme tune from Austin Powers showing their wide range.

They are a young, stylish and most entertaining group. Watch out for them!

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