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An acclaimed disc by the internationally renowned countertenor Lawrence Zazzo bears the title BYRDLAND. This is a wonderful collection [Landor Records CD LAN 280] made in collaboration with the excellent young players of the Paragon Saxophone Quartet featuring music by William Byrd, John Dowland and Henry Purcell. It has received outstanding reviews – The Sunday Telegraph named it as their Record of the Month in July 2007. All the music on the disc was arranged and edited by Ian Gammie, drawn from Corda Music editions of early music. Further projects are being planned.
This is an ensemble that specializes in the late 18th century café music that would have been heard in the naughtier backstreets of Vienna and other great European cities. To call their entertainments 'concerts' would be a travesty - you are regaled with rumbustious music and risqué anecdote, while you might be invited to sup wine, eat Sachertorte and generally carouse with your friends, all under the benevolent eye of the “proprietor” Derek McCulloch who devises and introduces the programmes. One of their regular musical dishes of the day is CMP 437. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for forthcoming events. Concerts usually feature four or five performers, most often one singer and three or four instrumentalists, among whom are numbered the singers Rogers Covey-Crump, Sophie Bevan, Rachel Elliott, Grace Davidson, and the instrumentalists Jenny Thomas, Jonathan Morgan, Ilana Kravitz and Ian Gammie. Recent recordings have included Hail Windsor Crown'd With Lofty Towers [CD CM003 Danubia Discs], Haydn and The Earl of Abingdon [Naxos CD 8.570525], Goethe and the Guitar [Danubia Discs CD CM002], and Haydn à l'Anglaise [Nimbus N16174] with the soprano Dame Emma Kirkby.
Hark, Hark each Tree its silence breaks, The Box and Fir to talk begin,
This in the sprightly Violin, that in the Flute distinctly speaks. . . . .from Purcell's Ode to St Cecilia, words by Nicholas Brady c.1690
The initially inscrutable title of this ensemble is easily understood when one sees the context from Purcell's setting of the famous Ode, - flutes and violins being made from the eponymous woods. And wherefore Windsor? Because the ensemble have often performed in Windsor Castle, while two of its members have sung in the choir of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Indeed, the flautist Jenny Thomas and her husband Dr Derek McCulloch (see below) used to live in the castle itself (though not in the Queen's apartments) and still live in the shadows of its mighty walls (that is, the McCulloch's live in the shadow, - the Queen still lives inside).
Formed in 1994 by four musicians with wide-ranging experience of playing early music, the repertoire of the Windsor Box & Fir extends from Dowland and Purcell to Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. Because instrument technology evolved continuously through this time, the players use a range of instruments. They are particularly fortunate to own three original square pianos dating from c.1780 to c.1830, and also a fine copy of a Henri Hemsch two-manual harpsichord of 1756. They also use flutes, violins, recorders, bass viols, guitars and lutes appropriate to each period of music performed. The musicians involved are Jenny Thomas (flutes and recorders) Michael Sanderson (singer and violin) Katharine May (harpsichord and fortepiano) and Ian Gammie (bass viol, guitars and lute).
Amongst their most recent programmes they have featured domestic music from Georgian England, a kaleidoscope of songs and chamber music from salons and country houses in the period 1770 - 1810. The music is presented with witty accounts of the music and its social or historical background, which has enhanced the resounding success of their events up and down the country. Their programmes are built on research carried out by Dr Derek McCulloch and Ian Gammie, particularly their investigation into the music copied and collected by Jane Austen (herself an accompished pianist). They also draw from Dr McCulloch's important biographical work on Haydn's two visits to London in the 1790s and the associated patronage of the Earl of Abingdon, a keen amateur composer and flautist.
The Windsor Box and Fir Co have made a number of recordings of this repertoire Recordings. The following Corda editions have been recorded by them: CMP 435, CMP 437, CMP 443, CMP 451 Corda Editions.They have played at many Festivals and Concert Societies in the UK in the last fifteen years, including special events for the Jane Austen Society, as well as concerts in Germany. For more details of their current events and recordings, see: www.boxandfir.com
This quartet (Sara Stowe (soprano & recorders), Wendy Hancock (flutes/recorders/viols), Richard MacKenzie (theorbo /lute/ guitar/ vihuela) and Ian Gammie (viols) present several programmes from the 15th to 18th centuries. Their website gives details of their many concerts for the 2013/2014 season, and also samples from their forthcoming CD of Iberian Christmas music, from which a range of pieces will eventually be published in editions by Corda Music.
This English based group perform all sorts of well-known and not so well-known baroque masterpieces, at the drop of a lace handkerchief. Players can range from solo harpsichord (the maestro and director Jonathan Hellyer Jones), to an orchestra of 18, and any combination in between. The usual format is from 4 to 7 players in concert. Frequently led by violinist and violist Judy Tarling, they have recorded CMP 417, the 7th Brandenburg Concerto. (You didn't know there were seven, did you?) You might even get to hear the humble violone player Ian Gammie at some of their gigs.[except you won't any more as with advancing years he has retired from playing the violone to devote himself to the bass viol and guitar. But you can still hear him on their CDs]
These two ensembles are both directed by Professor Peter Holman ( Parley ) who has edited a number of early music editions for Corda Music. The string players are usually led by violinist and violist Judy Tarling,
More details will be added to this site when I get the time . . . ( . . . when you get the time ? . . who are you kidding ? . . . I'll call Workaholics Anonymous if you don't pack up and get to bed . . . do you know what time it is? . . . )
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Last updated 1st March 2022