The Anglia & Blythe Consorts, Gorleston
KEITH CUTLER Monday's concert combined a consort of eight musicians playing replicas of ancient instruments with the five mixed voices of the Cappella Suffolk-based Blythe Consort.
Monday's concert combined a consort of eight musicians playing replicas of ancient instruments with the five mixed voices of the Cappella Suffolk-based Blythe Consort. The versatile musicians played on different instruments throughout their programme, ranging from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Different musical styles were reflected in the singers' repertoire, which embraced madrigals, two attractive Saint's Saens songs and arrangements that made pop songs sound like art songs.
The Anglia Consort began with a suite of late 16th century dances collected by Pierre Phalese, a member of the family of Belgian music publishers — some lively, some sombre — whose place was dictated by an introductory tabor.
The singers' first group began with madrigals by Bennet and Byrd, followed by Four Childhood Lyrics by John Rutter, which included the complicated rhythms of The Owl And The Pussycat and amusing variations of Sing A Song A Sixpence.
Subsequent groups moved into the Baroque period, where two Blythe Consort sopranos joined the Anglia Consort in music by the German Schickhardt and the English Philip Hart, who were overshadowed by J S Bach, represented by the aria now know as Sheep May Safely Graze.
An innovation was a cha-cha, composed for early instruments and introducing a viola da gamba and maracas.
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Well articulated, balanced singing by the choir and the timbre of the unusual musical instruments provided an interesting musical evening.