Monday, August 3

BREMF CEILIDH – Ensemble Hesperi

- October 7, 2019

A ceilidh is an odd event for someone like me who cannot even walk steadily, let alone dance. However, we were in very good hands. Ensemble Hesperi are always excellent and the Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) is really good at delivering surprises.

Ensemble Hesperi, like the jolly band of some great Laird, embody high-quality Baroque Scottish music. How could Mary-Jannet Leith smile so much and her recorder still sound so refined? The Baroque strings of Magdalena Loth-Hill (violin) and Florence Petit (cello) brought Regency finesse to the bounce of barn dancing and Thomas Allery, most elegant in plaid trews, presided over the company from a small chamber organ rather than his usual harpsichord. Even the finer points of historical accuracy were met, if bygone bands were ever that adept.

Kathleen Gilbert’s Highland Dance workshop had admirably primed a motley troup of enthusiasts that caller Andrew Kellett directed in a well-chosen selection of jaunty Scottish dances.

This all encapsulates the very spirit of BREMF, bringing young and old to enjoy the very best of early music in a popular setting.

St. George’s Church,
5 October 2019
Rating: ★★★★½
Andrew Connal

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