Rose Consort of Viols

For lovers of early music this concert was the beginning of a day of pure pleasure. The Longhouse offers an ideal auditorium for the intimate character of these compositions and the gentle voices of the instruments. As the director's notes inform, this music was originally written for entertainment in private houses.

The various pieces were introduced by John Bryan who expanded on the comprehensive notes already supplied in the programme. The recital comprised works from the 16th and 17th centuries, those in the earlier style of composition , such as the "In Nomine" of Thomas Tallis, and finishing with the baroque "Fantazias" of Purcell.

The earlier works are in the style of Dowland, with their melancholy down falling phrases, and the later works, often titled as dances, but with rhythms it would be difficult to dance to, are more light hearted and spritely, especially those of William Lawes, a Cavalier who was killed fighting for the Royalists in 1645. The three closing "Fantazias" by Purcell are incredibly complex.

"He invested what was by his time a bygone medium with his own expressive language that belongs firmly in the baroque; they are full of theatrical gestures , intense; passionate chromaticism and wistful dissonance." (John Bryan's Programme notes)

The Rose Consort of Viols play in perfect harmony with one another, with one mind. They enhance this delightful music with their understanding and enchant the audience.-- Jane Penistan.