As part of Poole-Cherbourg Twinning event, Courtlye Musick and Ars Nova are playing at Athelhampton House this afternoon, 19th May, between 2pm and 4pm. Because of the weather we shall be playing in the Great Hall, rather than strolling in the grounds. Please come along and enjoy the atmosphere of period music in this wonderful setting.
This year, Courtlye Musick will be welcoming Ars Nova to Dorset again, but we’re extending the weekend and inviting some new friends and musical colleagues.
We start our Tudor Fest on Friday 10th May in St Martin’s Church, Broadmayne. There, we’ll be joined by Saxtet, a saxophone quintet, to give us a completely different approach to early music. This is your chance to hear early instruments in concert with the modern, combining forces in Tudor dance music and even exchanging ‘blows’ in Susato’s Battle Pavane. The concert will include authentic Tudor delights and the Saxiest version of Greensleeves you’ve ever heard.
Then on Sunday 12th May, we contrast this with the serenity of an evensong concert, also in St Martin’s Church, Broadmayne. The Barn Choir will join us in this concert, bringing a contemplative selection of mostly sacred Tudor pieces for voices and period instruments.
For both of these short concerts, donations to the church are welcomed.
The following weekend, Courtlye Musick once more play host to Ars Nova, the Early Music group from Cherbourg.
Friday 17th May will find us in the Town Hall, above the Corn Exchange in Dorchester for a lunch break concert, supported by the Dorchester-Bayeux Society. Join us to hear our old favourites played on an exciting range of authentic instruments. Donations welcomed.
If this whets your appetite, please join us for coffee and cakes on Saturday 18th May at an open rehearsal in Broadmayne Village Hall, Cowleaze Road, from 10:30am. All are welcome to come and listen, talk to the members of Courtlye Musick and Ars Nova about the music and the instruments and enjoy the refreshments. Donations welcomed (so are cakes!).
On Saturday 18th May, our main event is a concert supported by the Poole-Cherbourg Twinning Association at St James’ Parish Church, Poole starting at 7:00 pm. ‘From Dufay to Dowland’ will feature vocal and instrumental music spanning the 15th and 16th centuries from the medieval courts of Burgundy, Europe and the Tudor courts of England. Colourful costumes will add to the atmosphere and there’ll be the opportunity to hear a variety of fascinating period instruments. Tickets for the concert cost £10 and can be obtained in advance or on the door. The event is suitable for the whole family.
Finally, on Sunday 19th May, we take a stroll through the gardens of Athelhampton House, near Puddletown, from 2-4pm. Join us for some impromptu songs and music and enjoy the atmosphere. Normal admission charges apply, see https://www.athelhampton.com/ and subject to weather.
Friday 14th September
On Friday afternoon we gave a pop-up concert in the Great Hall in Winchester, entertaining those enjoying ‘heritage’ performances and visitors to the Great Hall.
On Friday and Saturday Courtlye Musick appeared with Queen Elizabeth I, Walter Ralegh and his wife in 2TimeTheatre’s production staged in the Great Hall.
’14th and 15th September 2018
Ralegh stalks the Great Hall once more to great acclaim
Winchester playwright’s ‘passionate and moving’ script
On Friday and Saturday, Sir Walter Ralegh once again walked in the Great Hall in Winchester where he was tried for treason in 1603. 2TimeTheatre staged an original one-act play about this charismatic adventurer, poet and pirate in this unique setting in the 400th anniversary year of his execution for treason.
Accompanied by renaissance music group, Courtlye Musick, and directed by Alice Kornitzer, Jilly Bond (Elizabeth I), Adam Kotz (Ralegh) and Lizzie Garland (Bess) brought Rachel O’Neill’s script to vibrant and dramatic life over three sell-out performances as part of Winchester Heritage Open Days Festival of history and culture.’
Dorset Food fair at Athelhampton House on 24th November 2018 was an occasion for Courtlye Musick to play informally in the dining room of the house where we could play and talk to members of the public as they looked round the house. It is always wonderful to play period instruments in an historic setting such as this.
In October 2017 we played at ‘Stur of the Moment’ in Sturminster Newton for a ‘Shakespeare readings and tea’. It was a delightful event and mention must be made of the attention to historic detail in the preparation of the food that we enjoyed after the performance, particularly the caramelised apple and carrot with rose water – delicious! This is a comment we received afterwards:
“I just want to say how much I (and everybody else) enjoyed your performance, together with authentic music and instruments, at the Stur of the Moment café in Sturminster yesterday. I was one of the readers, and I know that the event would not have reached quite such heights without your wonderful input. It was exquisite”.
Courtlye Musick enjoyed playing in the Westgate Museum in Winchester on 9th September 2017 during Heritage Week, using our quieter instruments such as viols and recorders. At one stage the small room seemed to be full of people sitting on the floor to listen.
Filmed in July whilst the museum was closed for it’s renovations, this month we appeared on the One Show, playing within touching distance of the Mary Rose ship. Anita demonstrated the deep tone of the ‘still shawm’, and Anne played the 3-hole-pipe and tabor. Presenter Richard Mainwaring was particularly impressed by Anne’s ability to keep a steady rhythm whilst playing the melody line.
This was a unique opportunity for us. It was wonderful to play our replicas of the instruments found on the ship so close to the vessel itself.
Courtlye Musick gave workshops in schools and an evening concert in St Peter’s Church as part of the Arlesey Music and Art Festival on Friday 21st October 2016.
During the day we spent the morning with Year 8 from Etonbury Academy who were experiencing a ‘Tudor’ day. We introduced them to the music and instruments of Shakespeare’s time as heard in the streets, at Court and on stage, but they took part in performances themselves, singing and playing.
During the afternoon we gave a short ‘Teddy Bear’ concert to the children at Gothic Mede school who enjoyed the story of Tudor Teddy going to London to learn about the musicians at the court of Henry VIII.
The day ended with the concert in the lovely, historic church of St Peter’s. An appreciative audience enjoyed secular music spanning the sixteenth century played on our huge collection of instruments.
Courtlye Musick enjoyed taking part in BOAT’s production 2016 of The Two Gentlemen of Verona on Brownsea Island during the summer. The group provided the recorded music for the production and performed on stage singing and playing recorders, viol, crumhorns, shawms, cornetto, curtal and pipe and tabor. The song ‘Who is Silvia’ was composed specially for this production.
A number of costume changes kept us busy backstage.
Courtlye Musick celebrated Mayday 2015 with a visit to our French colleagues, “Ars Nova”, in Cherbourg. We gave an impromptu open rehearsal in a large Cherbourg church which attracted an attentive audience. We enjoyed playing together and are putting together a joint venture loosely based on melodies found in the Bayeux Manuscript.
In the past year Courtlye Musick have taken delivery of their new early 16th century “Linarol” viols from the Scottish maker Richard Jones. We are enjoying discovering repertoire that suits these wonderful instruments including Tenor Songs (three viols and voice) from the late 15th and early 16th centuries and rediscovering works from the Henry VIII manuscript. The collection comprises Tenor viols in A and G, a Bass in D and a Great Bass in A which allows flexibility and variety in our choice of music.
A fortnight after collecting the largest of the new viols they were being used at the Leicester Early Music Festival in a concert featuring music for Richard III at Castle House. Martin and Anita played a half-hour concert which included music by composers such as Dunstable, Dufay and Josquin, French music from the Bayeux manuscript and English music from the Fayrfax and Henry VIII manuscripts.
Courtlye Musick adventure to France 2013
In July and August 2013, Brownsea Open Air Theatre celebrated its 50th season by presenting two plays by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pericles (Prince of Tyre).
Courtlye Musick provided recorded music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream……
……and live music for the staging of Pericles. Instruments such as Cornetto, Shawms, Rauschpfeife, Crumhorn, Sackbut, Curtal, 3-hole Pipe, Recorders and Viol were played both on and off-stage for scene changes, to provide fanfares for entries and music to accompany dances and songs. Drum beating and triangle clashing featured largely during the tournament and sword-fighting scene. Before the start of the play and during the interval the audience was entertained with instrumental music and songs.
Boxes of instruments could be seen crowding the quayside at Poole, heaped in place on the ferry and being lugged up to the stage area. Red squirrels were spotted and during a Sunday afternoon rehearsal, a deer decided that the grass was greener on our side of the fence.
We coped with soggy reeds and strings needing constant tuning as the damp of the evening descended. We managed to get up the steps and into our place in darkness ready to play without tripping up the actors rushing in the opposite direction. And looking at the night sky and the stars on the homeward ferry journey…