Will You Go Walk The Woods So Wild? Paul O’Dette, Lunchtime Concert, Wigmore Hall, 2 October 2017

I used to say that there are only two places left in the world where stewards and patrons still call me young man; Wigmore Hall and Lord’s.

Today I must sadly report that I went to both places and was referred to not once as young man. This is becoming a pattern. What is going on?

Still, apart from my awareness of my fast disappearing “youth”, the lunchtime concert at the Wigmore Hall was an absolute delight. Janie and I both very much enjoy the relaxing nature of this type of music…perhaps it’s our age?

Paul O’Dette is no youngster either – indeed he looks a little like father Christmas these days, making his press photos a little dated, perhaps.

But boy can he play the lute, jamming good with Byrd and Dowland…

…here is the Wigmore Hall resource on this concert, so you can read all about it.

There was a rather lovely Bacheler Pavane and Galliard between the two pieces listed for Bacheler on the above resource.

This was a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert, so still available at the time of writing for another four weeks or so if you are in  the right country or can convince the BBC iPlayer that you are – click here.

There was a delightful encore of an Italian Renaissance piece – sadly I missed the name of it and the broadcast missed the piece completely. It was lovely.

As was the whole concert. Very soothing music. I realised that this type of music would suit me very well for when I’m working or relaxing, so I downloaded some and bought a couple of CDs on-line too.

The above double CD was the closest I could find to the concert we heard (and lots more besides). I snapped up the last currently available copy at a sensible price on Amazon, but you might want to look occasionally and/or elsewhere for it.

Janie and I enjoyed a fine lunch at The Wig after the concert, then on to Lord’s (via Noddyland) for the end of season Middlesex Forum and drinks party, not that there was anything to celebrate. Still, the forum went as well as can be expected and it was good to see people at the end of the season.

This evening (the next day), I am mellowing out, listening to Paul O’Dette on the lute, while writing this Ogblog piece. Such sweet sounds.

Out of the Deep, The Cardinall’s Musick, Wigmore Hall, 18 July 2017

The Boy (Morales) From Seville

Janie and I really like this sort of 16th century music and here was a rare chance to listen to Cristóbal de Morales’s requiem, along with a swathe of English stuff from a similar period.

Morales was from Seville although his sound is heavily influenced by his years in Rome too.

Here is a link to the Wigmore Hall’s information on the gig.

Jolly it wasn’t, but then what do you expect when you choose to hear requiem masses, Jeremiah’s lamentations and that sort of thing?

But very beautiful it was.

I especially enjoyed the Morales, which was the main reason I booked the concert. We hear quite a lot of the 16th century English stuff, whereas the Morales felt like a rare treat.

This type of music (mostly 10 voices in five parts) works so well in the Wigmore Hall and The Cardinall’s Musick are really superb at delivering this stuff. Andrew Carwood always explains the context in detail, but not painful detail.

The audience lapped it all up and managed to coax the team back onto the pitch for an encore – I think it was the first two verses from Tallis’s Psalm 1 setting.

It was a Tuesday evening and Janie had early patients etc. the next day, so we didn’t dine together – I think Janie got home just before the heavens opened. Good job I was in the flat when the rains came – it was torrential and I had left windows open. There’d have been Jeremiah-style lamentations from me if my computer and/or baroq-ulele had got wet.

Richard Egarr, Wigmore Hall Lunchtime Concert, 9 January 2017

From the ridiculous to the sublime. A delightful concert of early music. Richard Egarr on the harpsichord with English music spanning the late 16th to late 17th century; Byrd, Purcell and Blow.

After our ill-fated Friday evening of avant-garde jazz, from a doyen of the free (or in this case BOGOF – buy one get one free) jazz movement – click here – the Richard Egarr was to be just the ticket.

There was one small problem though; a tube strike. In the interests of practicality and sanity, I put my principled doubts about Uber to one side, down-loaded the app and organised transport through Uber.  The transport only cost a little more than the concert tickets that way.

But we got there and I’m so glad we went.

Once we were at the Wigmore Hall, the music transported us to a happy place without any difficulty.

This was the first Radio 3 Lunchtime concert of the year at the Wigmore Hall. Sara Mohr-Pietsch came on the stage to explain how it works to the live audience and started her little spiel by saying, “hello and good afternoon to both of you”, seeming to address the remark to me and Daisy in the front row.

Perhaps she realised what an effort we in particular had made to get from W3 to W1 on a strike day. Seriously, the hall was pretty much full, so I suppose Sara meant to say “all of you”. Her spiel got better after that.

The audience doesn’t get to hear her radio introductions, so I struggled to work out exactly which piece was which and exactly when Richard Egarr’s short breaks were taking place, until I listened again again on iPlayer.

Which reminds me to tell you, if you get to this Ogblog article quickly enough, you don’t have to take our word for it how lovely this concert sounded.

It is to be rebroadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 15 January 2017 at 13:00, or you can catch it on the iPlayer radio thingie – for another three or four weeks – click here or below. At the very least you should be able to get more information about the concert on these links even if you miss the 30 day licence window to listen in.

 

 

 

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.

 

Treasures Of The Renaissance – Masterpieces From The Golden Age Of Choral Music, Stile Antico, 11 May 2014

Just gorgeous, this concert was.

Here is a link to the helpful Wigmore Hall calendar note that tells you exactly what we saw.

This was Renaissance choral music at its best.

Barry Millington in the Evening Standard gave the gig this rave review – click here.

Below is a vid of Stile Antico, singing Ego flos campi by Jacobus Clemens non papa, which was the second piece they sang to us and which gives a very good sense of their glorious sound:

Coincidentally, the above recording was made at the Old Royal Naval College which I shall be visiting in a few day’s time (as I write in January 2018), although not for music purposes.

For those who are not blessed with Latin scholarship, “Ego flos campi” means, “I maintain my oral hygiene when I go camping”…

…although those words are occasionally mistranslated by so-called experts as, “I am the flower of the field”.

Anyway, enough of scholarship. Janie and I had enjoyed an early music oriented weekend from start (Joanna MacGregor tinkling the Goldberg on the Friday) to finish – we had no complaints about that.

Play that vid again, go on…gorgeous it is.

Fretwork & Clare Wilkinson, Wigmore Hall, 1 February 2009

Just a couple of weekends after our previous visit, another early music outing to the Wigmore Hall.

Rather a different feel, this one, as the conceit of the concert was to mix early music with some contemporary compositions influenced by those earlier periods.

Central to the concert was Purcell, whose 350th birthday was that year and who therefore featured a lot in 2009 concert programmes.

Here is the full listing for this 1 February gig:

In truth, Janie and I got a lot more out of the early music than the contemporary stuff, although I always enjoy Arvo Pärt more than I expect and the Shostakovich was interesting too.

But Purcell was the star of the show, as was Clare Wilkinson, who specialises in singing this Renaissance and Baroque stuff; often with Fretwork.

Lovely stuff, it was, on a Sunday night.

Keeping Up Appearances: William Byrd: The Man, His Music and His Faith, The Cardinall’s Musick, Wigmore Hall, 4 April 2008

There is a good preview of this concert in The Cardinall’s Musick’s newsletter of February 2008 – click here. Apparently this concert was their first appearance at The Wig for quite a while. If I recall correctly, we had seen them before at St John’s Smith Square.

They really are a superb early music outfit. Andrew Carwood tries hard to explain the context of the work – perhaps he over-explains at times for our taste, but the music always sounds divine and the scholarship that underpins their work is evident for all to hear.

This type of concert is always a wonderful way to end the working week and I’m sure this occasion was  no exception.

This is exactly what we heard – lovely.

keeping-up-appearances-yet-smaller

We bought three CDs of The Cardinall’s Musick delivering their wonderful stuff. While I’m not 100% sure that we bought them on this occasion, I have a strong hunch that I did:

Very beautiful recordings, I still (writing in 2016) listen to this music quite a lot.