Sunday, October 04, 2015

Werther and Tallis

Two wonderful musical evenings - blogged in haste!

On Friday we saw our friend Carolyn Dobbin in the ETO's excellent production of Werther. This was the first date at the RCM but there are plenty of others. In addition to Carolyn I'd single out Lauren Zolezzi and Michael Druiett but the whole cast was strong. Catch it if you can!

Then on Sat to an amazing choral concert in Cambridge at OLEM - the highlight being Tallis's 40 part Motet!  The excellent programme note* begins: "Tallis's famous 40-part motet is the greatest musical product of its time in England, and would have been the wonder of its age - had his contemporaries known of its existence."

Apparently there is an anecdote that Tallis composed it in response to a ducal challenge for an English composer to respond to Alessandro Strigio's two (related) 40-part works. "The work remained completely unknown until James I presented Nonsuch Palace to his heir, Prince Henry, and the score was discovered in the library.

The concert was conducted by Robert Hollingworth one of the masters of Renaissance conducting and the founder of I Fagiolini.  I'm told that there was a slight muddle in Choirs 7 and 8 at one point but I certainly didn't notice and the whole effect was magnificent! Though as will be seen below, I had a family interest.

* The programme note was by Son, who was in the choir along with Daughter-in-Law and Younger Grandson!

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