Fretwork, Birds on Fire: Jewish music for viols, Wigmore Hall, 14 September 2008

Janie and I like a bit of viol music.

The Birds On Fire page of Fretwork’s own site – click here – sets out the whole concert and indeed details of the CD album they brought out in 2008, a few months before this performance.

Here are some reviews of the album from the Fretwork site.

The story of Jewish composers and musicians in the Tudor period is a fascinating one. In theory they were banned from England at that time. In practice, blind eyes were turned when the Tudor court wanted some of the best musicians in Europe to pop in.

In truth, the music was not, to our ears, the most pleasing Tudor period viol music we’d heard. Fretwork are and as always were top notch on this evening, but the modern Orlando Gough work inspired by the story and indeed some of the material, especially the songs, were not so much to our taste.

Still, it was beautiful and interesting and we were very glad we’d booked this concert.

Janie and I had booked the next day (Monday) off. My diary suggests that we simply used that day to sort out stuff and do our own thing. But whatever the plan, we do enjoy a Sunday evening concert that much more when we know we don’t have to work the next day.

Writing this Ogblog piece made me realise that I don’t have any Fretwork in my collection at all. I put that right, but not with Birds On Fire…

…I’ve ordered this one instead

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