I Fagiolini, Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concert, 11 April 2016

Daisy and I arranged a Monday off, in part because “that’s quite often what we do these days”, but this one in particular because I fancied this lunchtime concert at “The Wiggy”.

It turned out to be a fortuitous choice of date, as it coincided with Pady Jalali’s unexpected but delightful visit, which I shall report once I have finished this short piece; a link to which should appear, as if by magic, as a ping-back on this one once it is done. (Clever stuff, this WordPress blogging).

Pady toyed with the idea of joining us for the concert, but the train times from Manchester didn’t really work sensibly for that, so just Daisy and I enjoyed the concert, from our front row mafia vantage point.

Janie is not a great fan of Renaissance English Madrigals, especially those of the fa-la-la variety, but even she admitted that this short concert was a wonderful way to get a small dose of them without the irritation that arises from a large dose.

There was a lyric sheet available for 50p which I avoided. Not for the matter of 50p, you understand, but because making it too obvious that the lyrics were mostly about shepherds, shepherdesses, the merry month of May and a fa-la-la-la-la… would not have added to Daisy’s enjoyment. Worse, me singing along would not have added to anyone’s enjoyment.

The concert was broadcast on BBC Radio 3, will be broadcast again on 17th April and should be available on this link until 8th or 9th May. Yes, available until the merry month of May fa-la-la-la-la…

The ensemble entered wearing straw hats and carrying a hamper, an old badminton racket etc. The idea was to give the feeling of a spring picnic; an idea that worked better live than on radio, I’d suggest.

There were three examples of modern madrigal in our concert too – the running order is archived here – but for the encore I Fagiolini returned to the safer ground of traditional month of May-type material; Now is the Month of Maying by Thomas Morley. Plenty of fa-la-las to send us on our way.

Twee? Yes. But it was a lovely concert which set us up very nicely indeed for a relaxing afternoon and evening with friends.


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