Tea time

At Sunday's tea time, I attended an eponymous concert given by the camerata variabile at the Bar du Nord. It was suitably dedicated to a programme of English music spanning four centuries, thus including Britten, Hume (Tobias), Onslow, Holst and two contemporaries, George Benjamin & Francis Silkstone, of whose Duo for violin & bass clarinet we've heard the world première in the composer's presence. Also, some poems by Graves, Auden, Yeats as well as the inescapable Bard were recited. So, it was an altogether well balanced programme.

I particularly liked the 1605 airs for viol by Tobias Hume and - quite the discovery - George Onslow's Nonett in a-minor (op. 77). Unfortunately there is no recording available of the latter, otherwise I would have bought it right away, it's great fun & the performers had a perfect grasp of it, as they did with everything else, except for the timing: The event started late & ended even later, i.e. well into dinner time for which I've had another appointment. But that's just me I guess - you never overbook on a Sunday. Another minor criticism would address the accoustics of the Bar, which was a bit on the narrow side for ten energetic musicians at times, occasionally with rather noisy brass. Apart from that, I would consider the whole setting to be very felicitous, what with tea & cakes in a bar for tea time. Repeat, please!

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