Chirping of the Nightingale

The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds

> The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds

Seventeenth-century English dance music performed by a well-established German ensemble was a far-from-stuffy affair.

Lautten Compagney was formed in 1984 and was last night playing music from John Playford's English Dancing Master, first published in 1651.

What a terrific array of period instruments which they used to great effect providing an atmosphere second to none.

It was music performed with a theatrical bent and I must make special mention of the percussionist Peter Bauer. His flamboyant style together with his comical approach made it a fun evening.

His tools included Spanish castanets, Irish wooden spoons, Jew's harps and so the list goes on.

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There were also works by Thomas Ravenscroft, Henry Purcell and Nicola Mattheis.

Whatever the ensemble played you were always in for a pleasant surprise, whether with their exquisite performance or the sheer fun and life they put into it.

The audience was determined for an encore, which gave Peter another excuse to play around.

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