- June 14, 2021
2021 has brought back some very popular BREMF LIVE! alumni to give us a musical version of the mythical founding of London.
Soprano Angela Hicks sang Galatea in the excellent 2017 production of ‘Pygmalion’, and she appeared again just before the lockdown as a nymph in 2020’s ‘Daphne’. Daniel Thomson first gave us his virtuoso tenor fireworks performing with Lux Musicae London during BREMF LIVE 2016. Their bright projection and clear diction easily cut through the unpredictable ambient sounds of the al fresco setting.
Sophie Creaner reprised her exquisite avian mimicry on her recorders, this year alongside the equally trilling Daniel Swani. Kristiina Watt is also new to BREMF with her lute and theorbo. This jovial ensemble was completed by harpist Aileen Henry and Harry Buckoke with his viola da gamba, two talented players who have featured in a variety of BREMF ensembles.
The tale of New Troy is absurd (and could have been direly pretentious), so it was very helpful that Harry gave us such relaxed introductions to each section, and filled in during the unavoidable retunings caused by oppressively humid weather. He clearly feels at home and at ease performing at BREMF, even after an exasperating journey that left no time to set up properly!
You’ll gather that the music, 16th century catches, grounds and courtly ayers (including one in Greek!) was a delight, and obscure enough for the fussiest Early Music buff. The high point for me was Nicholas Lanier’s celebrated dramatic scena ‘Hero’s Complaint to Leander’, a favourite entertainment for Charles I. I’d have called for encores except the instrumentalist needed a break before performing again in the evening.
13th June, 2021